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EU Clear Interbrew Spatan Deal

Dec 31, 2003 - Interbrew, has received unconditional clearance to its strategic partnership with Bavarian brewer Spaten from the European Commission. The approval, the Belgian brewer said, is the first condition to be fulfilled and brings Interbrew one step nearer to closing of the transaction, which is expected in the second half of 2004.

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The European Commission found that the partnership did not raise competition concerns and it cleared it without conditions. The closing of the transaction remains subject to shareholder approval and is expected to occur in the second half of 2004. "We look forward to adding the Spaten, LÜwenbrač, Franziskaner and Dinkelacker brands to our portfolio" said Michael Beck, president of Interbrew Deutschland. "It will further enhance the diversity and attractiveness of our product offering and give us presence in all key segments of the German beer market." The closing of this partnership with Spaten will make Interbrew number one in Germany, the world's third largest beer market, with an 11% market share. In September Interbrew signed a strategic partnership with Spaten to combine its German division with Bavaria's leading brewer, creating the largest brewery group in the country. The deal was initially valued at EUR477m. However based on 2004 performance thresholds for Spaten, an additional future payment of up to EUR56m may be triggered, leading to an enterprise value of up to EUR533m. The new combination will have a annual production of 15.6m hectolitres and an 11% share of the German beer market


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