AB InBev revises Modelo deal after U.S. objections

Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev , the world's largest brewer, said on Thursday it had revised the terms of its $20.1 billion (12.9 billion pounds) full takeover of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo after the U.S. government filed a lawsuit seeking to block it.

The United States has objected to AB InBev's plan to sell its 50 percent share of beer importer Crown Imports to the world's largest wine company Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ - news) .

AB InBev would still supply Crown (Other OTC: CWLDF - news) with Corona and other Modelo beers and had the option every 10 years to buy the whole of Crown. The U.S. justice department argued this could lead to higher U.S. beer prices.

AB InBev said it had now agreed to sell Modelo's Piedras Negras brewery next to the U.S. border to Constellation and grant it perpetual rights for Corona and other Modelo brands in the United States, at a cost of $2.9 billion.

Constellation would still acquire the 50 percent of Crown it did not own for $1.85 billion.

AB InBev also said it was now targeting $1 billion of synergy benefits from taking full control of Modelo -- it currently has 50 percent of the brewer -- from an initial $600 million.

(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)

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