After a bitter battle by a rival brewery, antitrust regulators in Brazil have cleared the way for the takeover by Cia. Cervejaria Brahma of its biggest competitor, Cia. Antartica Paulista. Kaiser, Brazil’s third-largest brewery, failed to derail the $7 billion merger creating a soft drink and beer giant called Cia. de Bebidas das Americas (Ambev). Morgan Stanley Dean Witter advised both Brahma and Antartica.
Ambev will become the world’s third-largest brewer, even after it sells one of its brands and several breweries to comply with regulators’ demands. Brahma and Antartica said they needed to merge to prepare for growing consolidation in the industry and begin expanding outside Brazil. Kaiser, which is part-owned by the Coca-Cola Company, had argued the merger would inhibit competition in the local beverage market and plans to appeal the decision to Brazil’s supreme court.