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SABMiller legal team faces autumn redundancies as £79bn AB InBev deal closes

As brewing giant SABMiller’s global general counsel (GC) John Davidson prepares to stand down in 2017, up to 35 staff in the UK-based legal team are to be made redundant.

In 2015, the world’s second-largest brewer became the focus of a takeover approach from Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) (at press time valued at £79bn). Since the deal was signed, a review was held and the company’s structure overhauled in August.

Consultations are ongoing and while senior lawyers within the legal team have already been notified by Davidson (pictured) of redundancies, all staff are expected to be formally notified of management’s decision in October upon finalisation of the merger.

Those affected include company secretary and deputy GC Stephen Shapiro, who is responsible for managing the internal commercial legal function; deputy GC for M&A, Stephen Jones; and deputy GC for regulatory and industry affairs, John Fraser, who devises and implements global regulatory strategies for the company.

The newly-combined company will be based at AB InBev’s headquarters in Leuven, Belgium, and will have a management office in New York where AB InBev legal head Sabine Chalmers is based.

AB InBev said when the deal is done SABMiller’s UK offices in Woking will be kept open ‘for a transitional period’. Existing SABMiller hubs in Miami, Hong Kong and Beijing will be phased out within months of completing the combination.

SABMiller declined to comment.