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Drinks

SABMiller First-Quarter Sales Gain As Brewer Awaits Takeover

SABMiller Plc reported higher first-quarter sales as the brewer enters the final stretch before being bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV in the industry’s biggest deal.

Net producer revenue advanced 2 percent on an organic, constant-currency basis, the London-based maker of Zambezi lager said Thursday. The sales update came hours after AB InBev announced it won U.S. antitrust approval for the $102 billion takeover.

“This was another quarter of good underlying momentum,” Chief Executive Officer Alan Clark said in the statement, pointing to strong performances in Europe, South Africa, Colombia, Peru and Australia.

SABMiller is facing mounting pressure from investors to seek a higher cash bid from AB InBev after a drop in the pound following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union raised concerns about valuation and soured appetite for the deal. The takeover -- set to be the largest in U.K. history -- still hinges on a regulatory nod in China. In Europe, AB InBev is selling SABMiller’s flagship Peroni, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell brands to obtain clearance, and has also agreed to give up ownership of the Miller brand.

SABMiller shares rose 0.3 percent to 4,437.5 pence at 8:12 a.m. in London. AB InBev gained 0.4 percent to 113.40 euros in Brussels.

Reported sales declined 4 percent in the three months through June, weighed down by the strength of the dollar, SABMiller said.

News by Bloomberg, edited by ESM. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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