COMMISSION GIVES LVMH MERGER NOD

PARIS — LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is one step closer to picking up its $810 million prize from the Guinness-Grand Metropolitan merger.
On Wednesday, the European Commission gave the merger the green light. The approval was contingent on selling off some drinks brands and abandoning some distribution agreements for certain European markets.
Now, the deal awaits approval from American regulatory authorities.
As reported, LVMH announced Monday that it had ended its opposition to the deal, which it had been aggressively fighting since it was first announced in May, and would extend the drinks distribution pacts it already has with Guinness to include Grand Met products for the U.S., France and Japan. LVMH is to receive a lump-sum payment of $405 million for this in recognition of the additional benefits it brings to the businesses. LVMH will also get another $405 million in merger dividends for the 11 percent stakes it holds in both Guinness and Grand Met.

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