THE biggest brewery merger of all time was completed this week as the purchase of SABMiller by Belgian megabrewer AB InBev cleared its final hurdle on Monday (October 10). Retaining the AB InBev name, the new company formed from the merger will have operations in virtually every major beer market with the Belgian brewer gaining distribution presence in emerging beer markets including Africa and Latin America through SABMiller’s historic presence in these regions.
In order to comply with competition rules, AB InBev has had to shed a number of brands including SABMiller beers such as Peroni and Grolsch, which have been scooped up by Japanese brewing giant Asahi. In a statement, AB InBev said the completed merger will allow the company to offer “an expanded portfolio that includes global, multi-country and local brands, providing more choice for consumers around the world”.
“Customers will benefit from a broad distribution network and strong brand-building expertise.” AB InBev chief executive Carlos Brito said the firm remains focused on “delivering superior top-line growth and increasing shareholder value”. “Building on our strong heritage, passion for brewing and expanded brand portfolio, we are also committed to helping farmers, retailers, entrepreneurs and communities thrive,” said Brito.