Australian government OK’s SABMiller-Foster’s bid

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia’s competition regulator approved brewing giant SABMiller’s $10.1 billion bid for Australian brewer Foster’s on Wednesday, saying the London-based company’s proposed takeover would not reduce competition.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement it would not oppose the deal because the merger was unlikely to seriously lessen competition for the supply of beer in Australia.

The merged company would still face competition from Lion Nathan, Australia’s second-largest brewer, and other beer suppliers, the regulator said.

SABMiller said last week that it had won the support of the Foster’s board for the takeover. The deal is still subject to shareholder approval.

Foster’s owns seven of the top 10 beer brands in Australia. SABMiller’s brands include Grolsch, Peroni and Miller Lite, and it already has rights to the Foster’s brand in India and the U.S.

Foster’s shares were up 0.2 percent to 5.29 Australian dollars ($5.23) in early afternoon trading.

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