SABMiller has agreed to sell itself to Anheuser-Busch InBev for US$104bn in a deal that will be the biggest takeover of a British company and create the world’s first global brewer, reports The Guardian. The takeover is one of the top five deals in corporate history and will create a brewing empire making about a third of the world’s beer. AB InBev is already the world’s biggest brewer, and SABMiller is its closest rival.
The boards of the two companies said they had reached agreement in principle on the key terms of a “possible recommended offer” after SABMiller rejected repeated approaches by AB InBev over the past month.
The deal would create a company generating more than US$70bn of annual revenue from brewing 80bn litres of beer a year. The giant corporation will have big operations in Europe, North America, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region, and will give AB InBev, the brewer of Bud Light, Budweiser and Stella Artois, access to the fast-growing African beer market.
If completed, the takeover will secure AB InBev a target it has long coveted. Backed by Brazil’s richest man, the financier Jorge Paulo Lemann, the Belgian-Brazilian brewer has expanded aggressively through big deals including combining with Interbrew, the maker of Stella Artois, in 2004 and buying the US Budweiser brewer, Anheuser-Busch, four years later.