Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has been all over the news over the past 24 hours. Some of it has been good (for them) while other news isn’t so positive for the big brewer of Budweiser. Still, if there is no such thing as bad press, we figure they’re pretty happy just to have us all talking about them again. We picture the execs at AB InBev in their boardrooms, kicking back and celebrating with lots of fizzy, yellow adult beverages. Given the circumstances maybe they’re even popping the tops on some Miller High Life. After all, it is the champagne of beer.Is AB InBev buying distributors to limit craft beer distribution?
If you’ve missed the two big AB InBev stories today, allow us to catch you up.
If you can’t beat them, join them: SABMiller agrees to AB InBev takeover
After turning down several earlier offers, SABMiller has finally accepted an offer to be acquired by AB InBev for £68 billion ($104.2 billion U.S. dollars). The deal still must be approved by regulators, but if it goes through AB InBev would become the largest brewery in the world by far, with annual sales of $55-million. Many details need to be worked out, and it’s likely that for the merger to be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice some assets would need to be sold off, like SABMiller’s stake in the MillerCoors joint venture. Still, this is a pretty big deal. Literally. If completed this would be the biggest beer deal of all time, and among the top five takeovers ever.
Read the full CNN Money article here: SABMiller agrees to takeover offer from AB InBev in biggest beer deal ever – Oct. 13, 2015
Is AB InBev buying distributors to limit distribution of craft beer brands?
Reuters has reported that the U.S. Justice Department, along with California regulators, are investigating allegations by craft brewers that AB InBev is acquiring distributors to make it more difficult for the small craft breweries to get their product on store shelves. In the past few months, AB InBev has made deals with five distributors in three states, including two distributors in Colorado. Several craft breweries have complained that after being acquired the distributors are being forced to drop many of the non-AB InBev beers they previously sold from their portfolio. Of course AB InBev denies any wrong doing, and assures everyone they are cooperating with investigators. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.
Read the full Reuters article here: Exclusive: U.S. probes allegations AB InBev seeking to curb craft beer distribution | Reuters