Grolsch to be sold off, but Heineken an unlikely buyer

Should the acquisition of SABMiller go through, AB InBev plans to sell off two of its former rival's biggest brands - Grolsch and Peroni - in an effort to ease European regulatory authorities' concern about the pending merge.

A person familiar with the matter said this to The Wall Street Journal, adding that no deal has been made and the sale isn't set in concrete.

Naturally this launched speculation on who will buy the two globally sold SABMiller brands. SNS Securities analyst Gerard Rijk thinks that Heineken at least is a very unlikely buyer, Beurs.nl reports.

According to the analyst, there are two reasons that Heineken won't buy Peroni and Grolsch. Firstly, the Amsterdam based beer company is not eligible for a takeover due to competition technical reasons. And secondly, Heineken does not need to take over these brands for the positioning of its brand portfolio.

Rijk thinks that MolsonCoors, C&C Group and private equity firms are likely potential buyers for Grolsch and Peroni.

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