July 20, 2017 / 4:55 PM / a month ago

AB Inbev to buy soft drinks firm Hiball

The logo of Anheuser-Busch InBev is pictured outside the brewer's headquarters in Leuven, Belgium February 25, 2016.Yves Herman/File Photo

(Reuters) - The world's largest brewer Anheuser Busch InBev (ABI.BR) said on Thursday it was acquiring Hiball, a San Francisco-based producer of energy drinks and owner of the Alta Palla brand of organic sparkling juices and sparkling waters.

The acquisition marks another step into the non-alcoholic drinks sector for the company, which already produces the ready-to-drink tea Teavana in partnership with Starbucks (SBUX.O).

AB InBev said in May it planned to invest $2 billion in the United States through 2020 into both breweries and soft drinks.

"Hiball's products target some of the most important trends in the beverage space today, including health and wellness," the company said in a statement.

AB InBev said it planned a phased transition of the Hiball Energy and Alta Palla brands to its wholesaler partners.

The transaction, the terms of which were not disclosed, is expected to close in the third quarter.

Reporting by Alan Charlish. Editing by Jane Merriman

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