Brazilian brewery merger approved

AmBev deal OK'd with minor restrictions

Mar 31, 2000 - Brazil's antitrust agency has approved the merger of Brazil's two largest brewers, Brahma and Antarctica. It will make the new company, AmBev, the world's No. 3 brewer.


The antitrust agency, the Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Economica (Cade), voted 4-to-1 in favor of the merger, with minor restrictions. Cade ruled that AmBev must sell two minor beer brands, Bavaria and Polar, with a combined 6% market share, within the next eight months to a brewer with less than 5% of the market share. Ambev will have to share its distribution network with the rival brewer for four years. Cade also told AmBev to sell five factories.

Cade approved the deal despite protests from Kaiser, a competing beer maker, which will likely try to get the decision overturned in court. Kaiser, Brazil's No. 3 brewer, is partly owned by Coca-Cola Co. and Heineken. Kaiser won't be permitted to buy the two Ambev brands that will for sale because it has a 15% market share.

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