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Multinational: Possibility brews for beer mega-merger

 |  January 20, 2014

While a theoretical merger between two of the world’s largest breweries – Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller – would certainly earn intense scrutiny from major competition regulators, reports say such a deal could be possible, especially following recent big-time mergers in the industry.

Reports have mulled a deal between AB InBev and SABMiller following AB InBev’s acquisition of Oriental Brewery, based in South Korea, announced Monday.

Just last week, a major $13.6 billion deal was announced between Japan’s Suntory and US-based Jim Beam, a sign of consolidation in another alcohol-based market.

When it comes to beer, an AB InBev, SABMiller deal would join the companies that control nearly one-third of the world’s beer sales, say reports. Despite its size, such a merger is possible, according to Berenberg Bank analyst Philip Morrisey.

If a deal should happen, reports say it would offer Africa’s beer market – the world’s fastest-growing – to AB InBev. But a transaction would be costly, and would likely need to surpass 2008’s record-breaking merger between Anheuser-Busch and InBev, made for $52 billion. The deal was the largest merger made in the beer industry.

Full Content: Wall Street Journal

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