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    ABMiller to Buy Grolsch

    The $1.2 billion purchase will expand its portfolio of premium beers.

    LONDON -- SABMiller, parent company of the U.S.-based Miller Brewing Co., will buy Royal Grolsch for $1.2 billion, in an effort to expand its portfolio of premium beers, the fastest growing segment of the world beer market, MarketWatch reported.

    The nearly 400-year-old brewer will be purchased for 48.25 euros a share, an 84 percent premium over the average closing price of Grolsch over the last month, according to the report.

    "Grolsch's provenance, unique taste profile and existing premium positioning will play a highly complementary role in SABMiller's international brand portfolio and better position SABMiller to grow market share in the fastest-growing segment of the global beer market," the South African brewer told MarketWatch.

    While SABMiller said no change is anticipated at the moment for existing distribution agreements in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, it could be difficult in the future, as competing brewer Anheuser-Busch is Grolsch's U.S. distributor, according to the report.

    Grolsch brews beers under the same name, along with Spring Bock and Autumn Bock beers, the report stated.

    The company plans to bring the Grolsch brand into new markets, such as Africa and Latin America, where the premium segment is in its infancy, and Central and Eastern Europe, the report stated.

    The board of Grolsch and shareholders backed the bid, with 37 percent of the stock, the report stated.

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