Third largest merger expected as AB InBev takes over rival SABMiller

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 | MERGER

The third largest merger is set to go ahead with Anheuser-Busch InBev’s takeover of rival brewer SAB Miller in a £79 billion takeover.

The deal, set to be completed on 10 October, will see the group become the world’s largest beer maker.

The deal was initially agreed last year, however, after the referendum result, AB InBev was forced to increase its offer due to a fall in the pound. As a result, AB InBev increased its offer by £1 a share to £45 a share.

To ensure the deal went ahead, AB InBev had to sell SABMiller’s Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands to Tokyo-based drinks company Asahi. Despite this, the mega-brewer deal will see them produce almost a third of the world’s beer.

The merger is expected to significantly boost AB InBev’s market share in developing markets such as Africa and China. In China, SABMiller in a joint venture produces Snow, which is the world’s best-selling beer. In total, it gives AB InBev an estimated 27 per cent of global volume and 46 per cent of world beer profits. It also gives them breweries in 17 African countries.

However, the takeover is also expected to come with cost cuttings, with job cuts likely. Currently, this figure stands at up to 5,500 jobs cut. This amounts to around three per cent of the workforce, but a spokesperson said that the cuts would “be implemented gradually, in phases, over a three-year period.”

The approved deal comes after AB InBev agreed to pay the US Securities and Exchange Commission $6 million (£4.6 million). The payment comes after the SEC had found the brewer had used promoters in India to make improper payments to government officials in India.

Talking about the takeover, AB InBev chief executive Carlos Brito said: “We are committed to driving long-term growth and creating value for all our stakeholders."

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