AmBev merger hits another bump

Police probe charge of influence-peddling

Feb 4, 2000 - The debate over a merger that would create the world's third largest brewing company took another detour when Brazil's federal police asked the Justice Ministry to suspend upcoming deliberations over the merger while it conducts an investigation into alleged influence-peddling surrounding those deliberations.


Brahma and Antarctica announced the merger last summer that would create a new company, AmBev.

Justice Minister Jose Carlos Dias has asked Gesner Oliveira, the president of the Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Economica (Cade), the Justice Ministry's anti-trust agency that will rule on the AmBev merger, to suspend deliberations until the police probe is over in 30 to 60 days.

According to the Justice Ministry spokesperson, the federal police are investigating an allegation that a Cade board member had been warned by a third party of an attempt to influence the Cade board's vote on the brewery merger.

Justice Ministry advisory board has recommended that AmBev sell one of its three brands -- Brahma, Skol or Antarctica -- to gain approval for the merger. AmBev has indicated it will contest that ruling and take its case to Cade.


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