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Turcan Cazac Successfully Assists World's Largest Brewer Anheuser-Busch in First Cross-border Merger Notified to the Moldovan Competition Council

3 August 2016

Chisinau, Moldova – Turcan Cazac has assisted the Belgium-based beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (AB InBev) concerning the proposed acquisition of SABMiller plc (SABMiller). 

The proposed transaction would bring together AB InBev, the world's largest brewer, with SABMiller, the world's second largest brewer, creating a global market leader. AB Inbev's brands include Corona, Stella Artois and Budweiser. SABMiller owns brands such as Miller, Peroni, Pilsner Urquell and Grolsch.

At global level the merged entity will sell twice as much beer and earn four times more profit than Heineken, currently the third largest brewer.

After a procedure of about half a year, in July 2016 Turcan Cazac succeeded in obtaining from the Moldovan Competition Council a clearance of the proposed acquisition. In its Decision the Council found that the proposed transaction is compatible with the competition environment of the Republic of Moldova. 

This is the first merger ever that is notified to and cleared by the Moldovan Competition Council and whose parties are not Moldova-based companies. Under the Moldovan Competition Law (2012) an economic concentration needs to be notified if:

  • the combined worldwide turnover of the undertakings concerned exceeds MDL 25M (about € 1.13M), and
  • there are at least two undertakings concerned in the deal, each of which obtained on the territory of the Republic of Moldova an aggregate turnover that exceeds MDL 10M (about € 0.45M) in the year preceding the merger.

Therefore, non-Moldovan companies parties to an economic concentration could be subject to Moldovan competition clearance based alone on the sales they had to the Moldovan market.

The firm’s mandate was handled by associate Ana Galus, who heads the firm’s competition law practice. Ana holds an LL.M. in European Law from Leiden University (Netherlands) and was an active participant in the Moldovan competition law reform carried out during 2011-2013. 

The project team also included partner Octavian Cazac and associates Vadim Taigorba and Olga Saveliev.

Overall AB InBev notified the merger in around 30 jurisdictions worldwide and is assisted globally by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

The European Commission cleared the merger in May 2016.  The Commission’s infographic below explains the basics of the merger.

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