Heineken, Anheuser-Busch tipped to buy Brazilian beer brand

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SAO PAULO--Multinational beer makers Heineken and Anheuser-Busch Cos., brewer of Budweiser, are leading contenders believed to be interested in buying Bavaria brand beer, currently part of Brazilian beer giant AmBev, the American Beverage Co. formed last year by Brazilian industry leaders Brahma and Antarctica.

For Ambev's proposed merger to get final approval, it has to sell one of its beer brands by the end of the year under the rules set by Brazil's anti-monopoly unit, the Brazilian Management Council of Economic Defence (CADE).

A-B used to be Antarctica's partner before the birth of AmBev. AmBev has so far invested $11 million in Ba-varia to update five production plants and launched the beverage in cans.

Copyright July 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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