Anheuser-Busch InBev, owner of beer brands like Budweiser and Stella Artois, has approached rival SABMiller about a takeover that could become the world’s biggest beer merger.
SABMiller revealed in a stock market statement that AB InBev had informed the drinks company it intends to make a takeover proposal, although no bid has yet been received.
ABInBev confirmed the approach and said it wanted to work with SABMiller on a deal, rather than pursuing a hostile takeover.
A SABMiller statement said:
“The board of SABMiller notes the recent press speculation and confirms that Anheuser-Busch InBev has informed SABMiller that it intends to make a proposal to acquire SABMiller
“No proposal has yet been received and the Board of SABMiller has no further details about the terms of any such proposal. The board of SABMiller will review and respond as appropriate to any proposal which might be made.”
A marriage of the two beer makers will create a company with a market value of about $250bn and bring brands like Stella Artois, Budweiser, Peroni, Grolsch and British craft beer Meantime, under one roof. The last three mentioned brands belong to SABMiller.
AB InBev’s largest shareholder is 3G Capital, the Brazilian private equity group, which has snapped up major food companies including Heinz and has a track record of major deals in the beer industry.
SABMiller is listed in London and South Africa and employs 69,000 people around the world. AB InBev is listed in Brussels and New York.