Tragedy strikes Mexico: 7 Grupo Modelo staff die

By Ben BOUCKLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Ab inbev, Grupo modelo

Grupo Modelo's brewery in Ciudad de Mexico or Mexico City (Picture Copyright: Grupo Modelo)
Grupo Modelo's brewery in Ciudad de Mexico or Mexico City (Picture Copyright: Grupo Modelo)
Anheuser-Busch InBev $20.1bn takeover target Grupo Modelo has confirmed that seven of its staff have died in an accident at its Mexico City brewery.

The company (whose top brands include Corona Extra and Modelo Especial) said the workers died on Sunday morning during cleaning and maintenance work in a confined area of a cistern.

Emerging local media reports suggest that the workers may have inhaled toxic fumes, but due to time differences, no-one from Grupo Modelo was available to confirm or deny this to BeverageDaily.com.

Toxic fume inhalation?

However, such rumours appear to stem from the Associated Press, which said an anonymous spokeswoman for city prosecutors told the newswire that possible toxic fume inhalation was being investigated.

Mexican brewing giant Modelo said that both the families affected, and the authorities, had been notified of the deaths, and it is now investigating the cause of the accident at the brewery (pictured).

Modelo is the subject of much media attention at the moment, due to AB InBev’s attempt to acquire the outstanding shares in Mexico’s largest brewer by volume (50%), that it does not already own.

Last Friday, AB InBev said that it, Modelo, Crown Holdings and Constellation Brands, had agreed a deal (in principle) with the US Justice Department (DOJ) to extend a stay (delay) in legal proceedings until April 23.

AB InBev tightens grip...

This agreement is the result of a deal that addresses the DOJ’s competition concerns, which led the department to launch a lawsuit on January 31, seeking to block the deal.

“This stay will allow the parties to finalize the details of a proposed consent judgment and the related definitive agreements and papers required for a settlement,”​ AB InBev said.

However, as BeverageDaily.com revealed on March 27​, AB InBev still faces a consumer-led class action in California seeking to block the takeover, also on US competition grounds.

Edstrom et al. claim the takeover will result in a market monopoly situation with higher prices – facilitating “co-ordinated pricing”​ with AB InBev’s biggest rival, Miller Coors – worse beer and less choice for consumers.

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