Anheuser-Busch InBev To Slash Jobs After Merger
Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced that roughly 3 percent of its combined workforce will be cut after the acquisition of rival SABMiller is completed. That would total about 5,500 jobs, based on both companies’ current workforce rolls. SABMiller employs some 70,000 people and AB InBev more than 150,000. The company expects the potential job losses to take place over a three-year period.
Takeover documents published on Friday gave full details of AB InBev’s offer and the takeover process. AB InBev has not specified where the cuts will be made, but job losses are likely at SABMiller’s global headquarters in Woking. The figures exclude sales and front-office staff. Planned divestments will reduce the combined group’s workforce before full integration occurs.
AB InBev is aiming to achieve pre-tax savings of at least $1.4 billion per year within the four years after completion of the takeover. The transaction would create an industry giant accounting for about 30 percent of global beer sales. Anheuser-Busch, already the world’s largest brewer, will gain a substantial operation in Africa and greater dominance in Latin America from the deal. AB InBev is the maker of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, among other brands.
The deal valued SABMiller at more than $100 billion. SABMiller shareholders must still approve the deal. Those shareholders will vote at a meeting on Sept. 28. SABMiller’s board has recommended that investors accept the offer.
The company has agreed to sell a number of assets from the combined company to win regulatory approval, including SABMiller’s 59 percent stake in MillerCoors in the United States to Molson Coors Brewing and SABMiller’s 49 percent stake in the maker of Snow to China Resources Beer. China Resources Beer already owns the other 51 percent of the brewer, C. R. Snow. Asahi Group Holdings of Japan will buy the beer brands Grolsch, Meantime, and Peroni, as well as associated SABMiller operations in Britain, Italy and the Netherlands.
Anheuser-Busch InBev said it expected to close SABMiller’s headquarters in London within a year following completion of the deal. The company’s regional office in Miami will be relocated to Bogota, Colombia, and its offices in Hong Kong and Beijing will be shifted to Melbourne, Australia. The combined group’s headquarters will be in Leuven, Belgium, with global management based in New York. Jobs based in South Africa are protected from cuts for five years as part of the deal.