Deal cracks open fizzy finance of craft brewing

November 16, 2015

Constellation Brands is buying San Diego’s Ballast Point, maker of Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, for $1 bln. Though small beer next to AB InBev’s M&A, it offers one of the first glimpses into exactly what established brewers will pay to acquire coolness. The figures are sobering.

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 too coy over SAB mega-deal’s benefits

November 11, 2015

The Budweiser brewer reckons its tie-up with SABMiller will generate cost savings worth around $10 bln. Investors have added roughly $50 bln to the combined companies’ value since the deal was mooted. The gap suggests the market likes the deal more than AB InBev dares to say.

Molson gets tasty chaser in giant beer deal

November 11, 2015

The Coors owner is paying SABMiller $12 bln for its 58 pct stake in their U.S. venture. By helping ease antitrust pressure on the UK-listed brewer’s $105 bln sale to AB InBev, Molson avoids a premium. Some $200 mln of annual cost savings, plus a sizeable tax perk, are pure gold.

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.

AB InBev enters SAB mega-deal on a solid footing

October 30, 2015

The Budweiser brewer has upped guidance on revenue. Costs are also rising because AB InBev is selling more fancy beers. Ahead of its $105 billion deal with SABMiller, the world’s largest brewer must spend on new products and markets as well as buying rivals in order to secure growth.

Heineken strength justifies mega-merger abstinence

October 28, 2015

The Dutch brewer’s quarterly sales increased 8 pct year-on-year. That’s better than latest figures from SABMiller and AB InBev. Carlsberg dropped 4 pct last quarter. While Heineken’s three global peers are chasing growth through change, the green-bottle brewer is sitting pretty.

Thruppence: Naming that brew

By Breakingviews Columnists
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.