A-B InBev reaches tentative deal to buy SABMiller

If finalized, the new brewing giant would control 30% of the global beer market.

Anheuser-Busch InBev has reached a tentative deal to acquire SABMiller.

Though not yet finalized and no closing date has been set, the deal between the world’s two largest brewers would create a giant that controls approximately 30% of the beer market globally.

A-B InBev first approached SABMiller about a deal in mid-September, though SABMiller’s board rejected several lower offers before today’s announcement.

SABMiller currently operates MillerCoors as a joint venture with Molson Coors, distributing over 30 brands that include Coors, Molson, Miller, Grolsch, Foster’s and Blue Moon (recently brought to Canada as Belgian Moon). As part of the deal, A-B InBev “would agree to a ‘best efforts’ commitment to obtain any regulatory clearances required to proceed to closing of the transaction,” which many analysts are interpreting to mean InBev would offload most, if not all, of the MillerCoors brands to ease the anti-trust approval process, with Molson Coors buying out SABMiller’s stake in the venture.

Here in Canada, InBev-owned Labatt Brewing Company announced last week it had acquired Toronto-based craft brewery Mill St. for an undisclosed amount.

The deal, which has been agreed to in principle by the boards of both companies, would see SABMiller shareholders receive 44 GBP in cash per share, a premium of 48% on its closing share price on Sept. 14. In addition, approximately 41% of shares will be eligible for a “partial share alternative” with the owners receiving roughly 0.484 restricted shares and 3.78 GBP in cash, a 33% premium.

The deal would be worth over $100 billion.

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