U.S. approves Anheuser-Busch deal to buy Craft Brew Alliance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department said on Friday it approved Anheuser-Bush’s (ABI.BR) plan to buy the shares of Craft Brew Alliance (BREW.O) that it does not already own.

The $220 million deal, which was announced in November, was approved on condition the companies sell Craft Brew Alliance’s Kona brand beer.

The Portland-based CBA’s other brands include Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cisco Brewers, Redhook Brewery and Widmer Brothers Brewing.

Anheuser-Busch owned 31.2% of CBA before the deal was announced, and also distributed many of CBA’s brands.

“CBA’s diverse portfolio of national lifestyle brands and award-winning regional breweries are an excellent complement to our family of craft partners,” said Marcelo Michaelis, president of ABI’s Brewers Collective business unit.

The companies said in a release that closing was expected “in the coming weeks.”

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Chris Reese and Tom Brown)

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