UK: AB InBev shelves expansion plans

AB InBev has shelved plans for a major extension of its UK headquarter amid uncertainty of the consequences of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Brexit) which is planned for the end of this month. The world largest brewer has put plans on hold to lease all of the additional space in its new London office building which would have roughly doubled the size of the headquarter of its recently renamed British Isles branch, Bloomberg reported. After the arrival of its new president Brazilian-born Paula Lindenberg (44) at the beginning of this year, AB InBev's UK business had been renamed Budweiser Brewing Group UK & Ireland (, 25.3.2019).

The brewer started at the beginning of this year to move its staff from its former Luton office about 50 km north of London to a modern office building on the edge of London’s financial district. The new premises feature facial recognition technology, beanbags, a bar and a chandelier made of Stella Artois beer glasses.

“As we grow as a business, we are always looking at alternatives to optimize our footprint and are considering different options for this, including looking at additional office space,” AB InBev was quoted by Bloomberg. “While we have not yet made a decision here, this is related to a number of factors, rather than tied to Brexit only.”

Depite Brexit fears there is still “high single-digit” revenue growth so far this year, Lindenberg told the Evening Standard in an interview three weeks ago. However, she also said that the group does not plan a multitude of takeovers but is more focused on organic growth.

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