Belgian brewers giant InBev has made an unsolicited bid of some 30 billion euros for American Anheuser-Busch. The takeover would make it the world’s biggest brewing company.
Anheuser-Busch controls 49 percent of the US beer market. In recent years it has been troubled by changing consumer tastes and stagnant sales of its flagship Budweiser and Bud Light brands.
InBev is hoping to add Budweiser to its own Stella Artois and Beck’s beers to create the world’s largest brewer. Currently it is the second biggest among international brewing giants with 12.8 percent of the world market.
Carlos Brito is InBev chief executive. He said: “I think what’s important here is that Budweiser beer will continue to be brewed in the same brewers. We don’t have plans to close any brewers. It will by brewed by the same people according to the same recipe, traditions and heritage. I think that’s what matters at the end of the day.”
Americans drank about 60 billion euros worth of beer last year, an increase of 1.4 percent over 2006. But that increase came from craft and microbrews as well as imports.
Sales of mass-produced beer made by Anheuser-Busch have gone flat in recent years.
InBev was formed in 2004 through the combination of Belgium’s Interbrew and AmBev, South America’s biggest brewer. If the deal goes through it will be the biggest takeover deal this year, and the third largest foreign takeover of a US company ever.