Big Deals

World’s Two Biggest Beer-Makers Agree to Become Single Beer-Making Superpower

Together at last.
Together at last.

The ongoing talks between the world’s two biggest brewing companies have finally paid off: The clumsily named Anheuser-Busch InBev, which makes a zillion different beers (Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona, Michelob Ultra, Beck’s, Goose Island, Bud Lite Lime-a-Rita), has come to terms with the only-slightly-less-clumsily-named SABMiller, which makes a zillion other beers (Coors, Coors Light, Blue Moon, Leinenkuge’s, Grolsch, Miller, etc.), in the former company’s plan to take over the latter.

According to reports, AB InBev will pay $104 billion in the deal, and the resulting megacompany will have annual revenue of $64 billion — controlling 30 percent of beer sales around the world. Almost certainly, the deal will also mean the end of television ads like this one:

The planned takeover will inevitably face exploration from regulators, so specifics of the arranged fusion will likely change, but no matter how it pans out, this is probably not great news for America’s ever-growing roster of independent craft brewers (not counting the craft brewers that AB InBev has already bought), since the forthcoming ABInBevSABMiller — or whatever it’s called — will have unprecedented distribution leverage, meaning there will be bars all over this great land of ours where every single one of the beers served is made by the same company. Then again, most of these cheap beers taste more or less the same anyway, so this move was probably inevitable.

[NYT, BBC]

World’s Two Biggest Beer-Makers Agree to Become Single Beer-Making