Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's biggest beer maker, has approached rival SABMiller about a takeover. As David Pollard reports, it would form a brewing colossus that makes around a third of the beer drunk globally.
Three cheers may be in order at Anheuser-Busch InBev. The world's biggest beer maker has approached the second biggest SABMiller about a takeover. Together they'd have a combined market value of around $270 billion. And make one in three beers drunk around the globe. Robert Cole is from Reuters BreakingViews. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROBERT COLE, REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS, SAYING: ''We have to remember here that it is only a tentative approach, it's not a firm deal by any means although my guess is that one thing will lead to another. But no, if it comes off, it's likely to be probably one of the top ten biggest deals of all time.'' Global markets are increasingly dominated by big multi-nationals. And there's been plenty of speculation about a possible mega-merger between these two in the past. But one key area of concern to regulators could be the combined group's market share in the U.S. AB InBev has almost half the market and SABMiller's joint venture with Molson Coors just under 30 percent. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROBERT COLE, REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS, SAYING: ''It's very important to bear in mind that because they're so big, there are likely to be competition issues. Anti-trust regulators, I think, would get involved, particularly in North America and in China. Indeed, those issues are so obvious that I imagine that the proponents would offer to do something about them before they are even asked to.'' But combine SABMiller's strong presence in Africa with AB InBev's dominance of Latin America and you can see why shares in both soared. SAB, which owns brands Peroni, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell, shot up 21 percent. AB, which has Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, rose 7 percent before trading was suspended.