Anheuser-Busch InBev expects to cut about 3% of its enlarged workforce in the three years after its takeover of SABMiller as it seeks to maximise savings from the combination of the world’s largest brewers.
The reductions would be implemented gradually and in phases, the companies said in documents related to the acquisition published Friday.
About 5,500 positions are likely to be eliminated, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The job cuts will form part of the $1.4bn of annual savings AB InBev has said it is seeking from the takeover.
Brewers of mass-market beer are trying to cut production and distribution costs as they lose market share to smaller independent brands in Europe and North America. SABMiller last year doubled its own savings target to $1.05bn by 2020.
AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, said the estimate for job cuts did not include areas such as sales, where it had not made advanced plans for integration due to regulatory restrictions. The company said SABMiller’s head office would be integrated into its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium, and management office in New York.