Interbrew and Mexican brewer and bottler Femsa said Interbrew's Bass Ale brand would join their joint US Labatt portfolio 18 months.

The move is to enable Labatt USA - a joint venture between Femsa and Interbrew - to develop the best plan of distribution and marketing of Bass Ale in the US from July 1.

Interbrew bought Bass Brewers in 2000, but was forced by British regulators to sell its Bass UK business to meet competition concerns.

Meanwhile, Interbrew and Femsa are in another legal wrangle over the integration of the operations in the US of German brewer Beck's which the Belgian brewer bought two years ago.