On Friday, the parties to the Department of Justice’s lawsuit seeking to block the merger between Anheuser-Busch InBev and Grupo Modelo requested a stay of the proceedings until April 9th, suggesting to us that the additional three weeks will be sufficient for the ongoing discussions to be completed.
Recall that a stay was originally granted until March 19th – the companies and the DOJ appear to be progressing toward an agreement, but simply needed more time than the original petition to the court allowed.
We suggested an extension of the stay was a likely occurrence in our prior note (“Talks Between the DOJ and Anheuser-Busch InBev ‘Progressing Smoothly’" – March 9th) and view the news on Friday as being entirely consistent with a process that is moving toward a consent judgment.
Both STZ and BUD should react favorably to the likely eventual news that the transaction has garnered regulatory approval, but at this point we see more upside over the medium duration in shares of BUD (ABI BB ordinary).
Have a great week,
HEDGEYE RISK MANAGEMENT, LLC