AB InBev completes $79bn SABMiller merger
AB InBev has formally closed its $79 billion deal to acquire SABMiller, having sold off its remaining brands in Asia and Europe to appease competition regulators.
The deal was officially confirmed on Monday evening following confirmation that AB InBev had successfully sold off remaining interests in Asia, and Coca Cola.
AB InBev had already offloaded many of its and SABMiller’s brands to appease competition laws in Europe, including Grolsch and Peroni which it sold to Japanese brewer Asahi for 2.55 billion euros ($2.76 billion). EU regulators also demanded the brewer divest SABMiller’s business in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
To complete the deal, AB InBev confirmed that it had successfully divested SABMiller’s 49% stake in Snow breweries, China’s highest-selling beer brand, for $1.6 billion to China Resources Beer – fulfilling a commitment to regulators in Beijing.
AB InBev was also required to dispose of SABMiller’s interests in MillerCoors, with Molson Coors taking control of its 50% voting interest and 58% economic interest in the brewery, which has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Molson Coors.
Coca-Cola meanwhile is set to buy the stake AB InBev holds in the US Coca-Cola’s African subsidiary, it was announced on Tuesday. SAB Miller, which had done much of Coca-Cola’s bottling worldwide, had held a majority share in the company.
SAB Miller and AB InBev agreed the multi billion merger in November, with SABMiller shareholders accepting AB InBev’s cash offer of £45 ($59) a share, an increase from its earlier price of £44 ($58), last month. This valued the London-listed firm at around £79 billion ($104bn).
The new company will be called Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, (AB InBev), effectively signalling the end of the SAB Miller name.
AB InBev is now the fifth biggest consumer product companies in the world by revenue, bigger than Coca Cola, and will dominate the global beer market, with brands including Budwieser, Bud Light and Stella Artois.