Craft Brew Alliance has agreed to divest its Kona Brewing operations in Hawaii to speed up the regulatory review process for its proposed merger with Anheuser-Busch (A-B).

Both Craft Brew Alliance and A-B have agreed to sell Kona Brewing’s Hawaii operations, including the new brewery and two brewpubs, to PV Brewing Partners.

The deal does not include Craft Brew Alliance’s Kona business outside of Hawaii, subject to the closing of the proposed expanded partnership between the two.

Last year, A-B agreed to purchase the remaining the company’s shares it did not already own.

A-B currently owns a 31.2% stake in the company and has offered $16.50 in cash for the remaining shares.

Craft Brew Alliance CEO Andy Thomas said: “We are committed to working with regulators and facilitating the successful review and close of our expanded partnership with A-B.  The companies are currently working with regulators for the approval of the proposed expanded partnership.

“We are delighted to have found a strong buyer that will continue to nurture the spirit of the Kona brand in Hawaii and offer its employees, who will remain part of Kona’s Hawaii operations, further opportunities for growth and development.”

A-B Brewers Collective president Marcelo Michaelis said: “While our shared vision for the expanded partnership between Craft Brew Alliance and A-B did include CBA’s Hawaii operations, we are still optimistic about the ability of CBA and A-B to offer more consumers, in more communities, even more choices as a result of this expanded partnership.

“We are confident that PV Brewing will continue investing and driving economic growth in Kona’s communities in Hawaii.”

Subject to receipt of regulatory approvals, the companies expect to close the expanded partnership by the end of this year.

Last year, Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) launched a new business unit to anticipate trends in the drinks market and develop products to meet demand.