Speed Reads

Beer Wars

Beer titan AB InBev might try to buy slightly smaller rival SAB Miller for $122 billion

There are two giant conglomerates in the global beer industry — Anheuser-Busch InBev and SAB Miller — and the owner of Budweiser is talking to banks about launching a hostile takeover of the maker of Miller, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing "a person familiar with the matter." The price tag: up to 75 billion euros, or $122 billion.

The prospective deal has been rumored for years, and the price would dwarf the largest industry merger to date, InBev's $52 billion purchase of Anheuser-Busch in 2008. Along with Budweiser, the Belgian-Brazilian InBev owns Corona, Stella Artois, Beck's, Bass, Modelo, Spaten, Rolling Rock, and even Chicago's Goose Island. SAB Miller's brands include Miller, Blue Moon, Henry Weinhard's, Leinenkugel, Peroni, Grolsch, Pilsner Urquell, and a host of local beers in Latin America and Africa.

AB InBev controls about 20 percent of the global beer market, with a market capitalization of $132 billion; UK-based SAB Miller, with a market cap of $97 billion, has 9.6 percent of the market, according to Euromonitor. Dutch brewer Heineken — in close third place, with 9.3 percent of the world market — said Sunday it had rebuffed a takeover offer from SAB Miller. SAB is looking to acquire Heineken to ward off a merger with InBev, Bloomberg says.