Bottles of Budweiser beer move down the bottling line at an Anheuser-Busch Budweiser brewery.
Photograph by Luke Sharett — Bloomberg via Getty Images
By John Kell
October 27, 2015

Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller are reportedly asking for another extension so the world’s two biggest brewers can finalize terms of a megadeal worth a little over $100 billion.

After much wrangling, the two companies agreed “in principle” two weeks ago on the key terms of a takeover bid from AB InBev (BUD), with SABMiller’s board indicating it would be prepared to recommend the offer to shareholders if terms could be agreed upon.

The companies previously won an extension from the U.K.’s panel on takeovers and mergers that required them to announce a firm offer by no later than Oct. 28. But with terms still being hammered out, various reports say AB InBev and SABMiller plan to ask for a week-long extension.

A potential deal would combine AB InBev, which makes Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Beck’s, with SABMiller, the brewer behind Miller, Coors, and Peroni. AB InBev wants to tap SABMiller’s strength in emerging markets like Africa, where beer consumption greatly trails the global average.

U.S. regulators in the U.S. almost certainly will not sign off on a merger between AB InBev (with nearly 45% of the beer market) and SABMiller’s joint venture MillerCoors (26%) without divestitures, so it’s likely that many of the MillerCoors beers will land in the hands of a competitor—such as Molson Coors (TAP) or Heineken—at least in the U.S. market.

The two brewers are likely to get approval by the U.K. group that oversees takeovers, the Financial Times reported, citing people close to the situation.


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