Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Anheuser-Busch up for sale?

Wow -- that would be big!

The Financial Times is reporting that InBev, the world's biggest brewer, is planning to offer $46 billion for A-B:
The article said sources close to the situation believe A-B's board would feel bound to follow due process and consider the $65 per share. The matter was discussed at length at an InBev board meeting on April 28 and then again at a meeting held Thursday, according to the article.

A-B became the exclusive U.S. importer for InBev's European portfolio, which includes beer brands Stella Artois, Beck's and Bass Pale Ale, in February 2007.

Speculation of a merger between the two brewers has circulated since then. In July 2007, a Citigroup analyst report featured seven analysts who wrote that they expect a merger "within the next two years." Before that, Belgium's Trends magazine reported that a merger between A-B and InBev was "inevitable in the long run."
The merger of Miller and MolsonCoors is almost complete now, so the brewing industry is getting very concentrated globally -- which would appear to be in line with other categories, where suppliers must get big enough to deal with the increasing size of their channel partners.

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