Megabrewer deal is no small beer

Pack of Budweiser

The takeover of SAB Miller by Anheuser-Busch InBev is set to proceed after both company’s shareholders rubberstamped the £79bn deal.

If things go according to plan the world’s largest beer firm, which will be responsible for producing over a quarter of the planet’s beer, will come into existence on 10th October.

The megabrewer will retain the AB InBev name, a move which upset some SAB Miller shareholders. Jan du Plessis, SAB’s Chairman, had a more pragmatic take on events.

“AB InBev are paying a full price for the company,” he said. “They can call it what they wish; that’s the way life works and that’s fine.”

Regulators had already approved the deal, on condition that AB InBev sells off SABMiller’s Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brand. Tokyo-based drinks company Asahi takes these on.

Commenting on the takeover, Carlos Brito, Chief Executive for AB InBev, said: “We are committed to driving long-term growth and creating value for all our stakeholders.”

AB InBev’s portfolio now includes Beck’s, Budweiser, Corona, Pilsner Urquell and Stella Artois, as well as a stake in Chinese brand Snow – the world’s best-selling beer by volume. With that in mind, and given that the new company will scoop up 45% of the brewing industry’s profits, it looks like the aforementioned stakeholders will be getting value galore.