Breakingviews

AB InBev adds dash of cynicism to raised SAB offer

July 26, 2016

A raised 79 bln pound offer for SABMiller should give agitating hedge funds a dignified exit. But it mostly ignores the fall in the value of the Budweiser brewer's offer - and makes a share-based alternative offer targeted at SAB’s biggest shareholders slightly more attractive.

Anheuser rolls Asahi on middling beer brands

February 10, 2016

Though the $2.9 bln price tag is a bit lower than expected, the Japanese brewer’s acquisition of Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime from Mega-Beer clocks in at some 25 times probable EBIT. It’s only justifiable under the demographic logic of the buyer’s shrinking home country.

SAB’s dregs might wet a private buyer’s whistle

December 16, 2015

Spinning off Peroni and Grolsch could raise $1.2 bln for the UK brewer’s new owner AB InBev and ease antitrust approval. Rivals like Carlsberg or Asahi have little to gain from SAB’s cast-offs. A buyout firm or acquisitive family investor, though, could spy a double-digit return.

AB InBev’s SABMiller deal losing big-brand fizz

November 30, 2015

The Budweiser brewer may sell SAB’s Peroni and Grolsch labels to speed antitrust clearances, reports say. The Molson venture in the U.S. has already gone and China may demand disposals. AB InBev will retain some gems, but the SABMiller empire could soon be unrecognizable.

AB InBev turns bulge-bracket loan arranger

November 11, 2015

The beer giant unusually organized its own record $75 bln loan package to help buy SABMiller. In 2014, that would have earned a top 20 slot in global lending league tables. More practically, it burnishes AB InBev’s cost-cutting credentials by saving up to $300 mln in fees.

AB InBev’s deal skills turn into an embarrassment

November 10, 2015

The 11 pct increase in the brewer’s shares since it agreed in principle to buy rival SABMiller for $105 bln has made its cash offer less attractive. Announcing big cost savings, AB InBev’s forte, would make the problem worse. AB has good reason to subtly play down its prospects.

Thruppence: Naming that brew

October 16, 2015

It could be called Anheuser-Busch de Bebidas das Américas und South African et Asian Inter-Breweries (ABBASAAIB). Breakingviews columnists brainstorm some alternatives to this over-fermented concoction of beer-merger dregs past and present.

AB InBev must change spots to make SAB deal work

October 13, 2015

Having won its UK rival’s agreement to merge, the Budweiser brewer now gets to put its fearsome talent for cost-cutting to work. But that may not be enough. AB InBev will need to create growth and court governments to make the $104 bln bid stack up. Those are different skills.

SABMiller’s Budweiser fightback lacks punch

October 9, 2015

The Peroni brewer’s promise to find $550 mln of new cost savings by 2020 is paltry in the context of the $100 bln approach from AB InBev. SAB might have more powerful defences in its locker. It had better, if it wants to stay independent from the Budweiser brewer.

Bud almost has the SAB keg tapped

October 7, 2015

AB InBev’s $99 bln cash offer for SABMiller is robust. The alternative stock package is unusual, but looks cleverly designed to meet the tax needs of Altria and BevCo, SAB’s 41 percent shareholders. It also eases post-deal debt pressures. MegaBeer is almost here.