AB InBev/SAB Miller merger on the cards?

US business journals are rife with speculation that AB InBev and SAB Miller may resume merger talks worth US$100 billion.

budweiserFollowing a Reuters report, the Financial Post said that with Carlsberg protected by a trust and Heineken being family owned, it was not unreasonable to think of the world’s two biggest brewers joining forces as undeveloped markets dwindle.

It continued that merger talks of this kind were “not new”, with talks having previously taken place until they were suspended in June 2012 when AB InBev took over Grupo Modelo.

Furthermore, it said that some industry experts were expecting a deal, within a year”.

One insider source with experience of large drinks industry mergers said it was, “more a question of when, not if”.

InBev paid US$52bn for Anheuser-Busch in 2008 and some think it is seeking to get larger.

Asia is a hive of independent breweries but many are state owned and Heineken’s protracted deal over Asia Pacific Breweries last year, when it paid nearly 35 times more than it originally intended thanks to competition from ThaiBev, may make brewers consider other options for now.

Although many say it would be a comparatively simple deal, there would be problems with competition laws.

AB InBev was forced to sell some assets to Constellation in the wake of the Modelo deal to appease the US and with InBev and SAB Miller controlling three quarters of the US market between them, it is likely that one or the other would have to shed an asset to push any deal through.

A sale of SAB’s stake in its Miller brand to partner Molson Coors would be among the most obvious choices.

In China too, SAB’s venture with market leader Snow may come under pressure, as would InBev’s various partnerships.

Both brewers have made no comment so far.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sale & Operations Manager

Marussia Beverages
Marylebone, London, UK

PRESTIGE ACCOUNT MANAGER – EUROPE

Jackson Family Wines
London, UK

Sales Executive

MAISON SASSY
London, GB

Head of Supplier Management - Group

Matthew Clark
London and Bristol, UK

Brand Manager – Whisky

ATOM Brands
Tunbridge Wells, UK

Brand Manager - Gin

ATOM Brands
Tunbridge Wells, UK

International Business Development Assistant

iDealwine
Paris, France with frequent trips to London office

Events Assistant

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2018

VinoVision Paris

Paris,France
12th Feb 2018

Vinisud

Montpellier,France
18th Feb 2018
Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more