Anheuser-Busch InBev is looking to sell SABMiller's Grolsch and Peroni brands in a bid to address potential concerns among European competition regulators over its planned acquisition of the world's second largest brewer.
The sale of the brands and their related businesses in Italy, the Netherlands and Britain would be conditional on AB InBev acquiring SABMiller in a cash and share offer currently worth some £72 billion.
AB InBev said today it was also looking to sell London-based craft beer maker Meantime Brewing Company, given its focus on premium beers.
The Belgium-based brewer has already agreed to sell SABMiller's majority-stake in US venture MillerCoors to Denver-based venture partner Molson Coors for $12 billion.
"Like the previously announced disposal of the Miller business to Molson Coors, these steps reflect AB InBev's pro-active approach to addressing potential regulatory concerns," AB InBev, the world's largest brewer, said in a statement.
AB InBev is already leader in the US, Brazil and Mexico, three of the top four markets in terms of profits.
With SABMiller, it is buying into Latin American countries such as Colombia and Peru and crucially, Africa, at a time when markets such as the US are weakening as drinkers shun mainstream lagers in favour of craft brews and cocktails.
Beverage analysts have identified the new company's business in China, where SABMiller has a stake in market leader CR Snow, as a regulatory hurdle, but it is not clear whether EU regulators would insist on divestments in Europe.
The European Commission, which rules on competition issues in the EU, will carry out a full investigation because the combined market share would exceed 15% in at least one country.
In Italy, the new group would have 28.3% of the market, in the Netherlands 27.9% and in Britain 21.8%, according to beer market specialists Plato Logic.
However, Heineken would remain the leader in all three markets, with shares of 29.4% in Italy, 38.6% in the Netherlands and 27.5% in Britain.
Analysts speculate AB InBev may simply deem Grolsch and Peroni surplus to requirements given that, in Stella Artois and Beck's, it already has European lagers that it is marketing internationally.
AB InBev only announced its deal to buy Meantime in May.