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Regulators could sink AB InBev's $11 bln asset sale to Asahi

The world's biggest brewer has a debt pile to match: around 100 billion dollars of it.

But AB InBev's plans to pay down some of that by selling its Australia operations to Asahi may be in jeopardy.

Australian regulators say a new combined entity would control two thirds of the local cider market.

And could also raise competition concerns in the beer market there.

AB's debt mountain stems largely from buying out rival SABMiller in 2016.

The Belgian giant has been selling assets and took its Asian business public this year to raise funds.

And hoped to close the 11 billion dollar sale of its Carlton & United Breweries arm in Australia in the first quarter of 2020.

The deal would turn Japan's Asahi into the world number 3 - behind AB and Heineken.

Regulators though say they won't make a final decision until March - one analyst told Reuters the deal's unlikely to get passed.

The news left shares in both parties down over a per cent in early trading on Thursday (December 12).