South Africa Regulator May Not Meet New May 12 AB InBev Deadline

South Africa’s Competition Commission said it may not be able to meet the latest deadline to complete its investigation into Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s proposed 73.4 billion pounds ($106 billion) takeover of fellow brewer SABMiller Plc due to “several outstanding issues” that need to be addressed.

AB InBev granted an extension until May 12 after the regulator failed to complete the probe by Thursday’s most recent deadline, Competition Commission spokesman Itumeleng Lesofe said in e-mailed comments on Friday. The regulator missed two earlier dates in April.

“There are several outstanding issues that should be considered before the Commission makes its recommendation,” Lesofe said. “Although the investigation is at an advanced stage, five days may not be enough for the Commission and the merging parties to adequately address the outstanding issues.”

South Africa is just one of the countries where Leuven, Belgium-based AB InBev is battling regulatory authorities in an effort to combine the world’s two biggest brewers, and has agreed to retain a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The company has also agreed with the government to create a 1 billion rand ($67 million) fund that will support the South African beer industry and protect jobs in the country.

The Competition Commission must make a recommendation to the Competition Tribunal, which will then conduct hearings into the deal.

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