The U.S. Department of Justice initially sued A-B on Jan. 31 to block the deal, on the grounds that the newly enlarged company would have a near-monopoly on the American beer market.
The terms of the finalized agreement are largely unchanged from what was tentatively decided [link opens in PDF] on Feb. 14. They include Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) purchasing the 50% ownership of Corona importer Crown Imports that it doesn't already own. Modelo and Constellation formed Crown as a joint venture.
Constellation President and CEO Rob Sands called the agreement "the most transformational event" in his company's history, citing nearly doubled sales, increased earnings and cash flow, and significantly more diverse growth opportunities.
Pending final court approvals, the transaction is expected to close sometime in June.
"The proposed settlement ... will create an independent, fully integrated and economically viable competitor to ABI. This is a win for the $80 billion U.S. beer market and consumers,” said Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.
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