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    A-B InBev: Beer Merger Could Trigger Layoffs

    Around 3 percent of workforce could be gradually phased out.

    BRUSSELS — The merger of Anheuser-Busch InBev (A-B) and SABMiller could result in thousands of job losses over the next few years.

    In all, around 3 percent of the total workforce of the organizations could be laid off, reported the Wall Street Journal. But "job reductions will be implemented gradually, in phases, over a three-year period," A-B wrote in documents related to the transaction.

    The estimated job losses are around 5,500, a person familiar with the details told the news outlet.

    A-B currently employs around 150,000 people, while SABMiller employs around 70,000 but is slated to divest most of its European assets under the terms of the merger, according to the companies. The 3-percent figure excludes sales and front-office supply staff. A-B noted that it was unable to advance integration plans for the workforce in those positions due to regulatory restrictions.

    These cuts will contribute to A-B's expected $1.4 billion in annual cost savings by the end of the fourth year after the merger, while additional savings will come from raw material procurement and other improvements.

    The documents also show A-B and SABMiller will spend nearly $1 billion on closing costs and fees related to the merger. A-B's $1.735 billion in costs includes $725 million in financing arrangements; $475 million in transaction taxes and other costs; $135 million for financial advice; $185 million on legal advice; $180 million on management consultants and other services; $20 million on public-relations advice; and $15 million on accounting advice.

    SABMiller will spend $202 million on closing fees, including $113 million on financial advice; $76 million on legal advice; $9 million on public-relations advice; and $4 million on accounting advice and other costs.

    The merger is expected to close on Oct. 10.

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