The world’s largest brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev NV announced Wednesday it is considering a takeover of rival SABMiller plc and has approached the company about this possibility. No bid or offer has been made.
A combined company would have a value of approximately $275 billion, creating a beverage giant producing about one-third of the world’s beer supply, according to Reuters.
Headquartered in London SABMiller—the world’s second largest brewer—traces its roots to the South African gold rush of 1886. Throughout the next century, the company became a leader in southern Africa building on strategic acquisitions before turning its attention to international markets in the 1990s. In 2002, SAB acquired the Miller Brewing Company. The company now produces more than 200 beers in over 80 countries including popular brands Miller, Peroni, Milwaukee’s Best and Grolsch.
According to the Associated Press, AB InBev—whose products include Budweiser, Corona and Beck’s—seeks expansion into more countries and SABMiller can provide the company a doorway into the growing beer market in Africa.
Major brewers like AB InBev and SABMiller are looking for new opportunities to build in markets outside the US and Europe where business has weakened in recent years as more consumers turn to craft beer. In the United States alone, craft beer continues to outperform the overall beer market, and now represents 11 percent of total volume.