AB InBev Getting Drunk On Idea Of Buying SABMiller For $122 Billion

It’s late at night and Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller are the only two beer companies left in the bar… mostly because these two have merged with everyone else in town. So what’s the harm in a couple of acquisition-tipsy beer biggies getting together? That’s why AB InBev has reportedly been texting its banking buddies for advice on hooking up with Miller.

This is according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports that AB InBev — the Brazilian-Belgian beer giant that owns everything from Budweiser to Beck’s to Bass to Blue Point — has been talking to banks about how to finance a merger with London-based SABMiller, which is also runs several non-beer bottling operations for other beverage companies, including Coca-Cola.

The amount of money being discussed is around $122 billion. That’s more than double the cost of the $52 billion 2008 merger of Anheuser-Busch and InBev that formed AB InBev.

The Journal’s sources say that there are no active discussions between the two companies, so this might all be a bit of wishful third-beer thinking on AB InBev’s part.

If AB InBev and SABMiller were someday able to work out a deal, the combined company would account for around 30% of the worldwide beer market. Any merger would likely face substantial opposition from parties concerned about one company having that much leverage. Both companies would probably have to sell or spin off operations to appease regulators.

Meanwhile, SABMiller has its eyes on Heineken, but its most recent offer to the Dutch beer company was rejected over the weekend.

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