Review: Craft-beer memoir goes down easy

May 27, 2016

Jim Koch’s tale of brewing Samuel Adams is refreshingly candid about battles with Budweiser, a controversial IPO and other troubles. Unlike many stale business books, “Quench Your Own Thirst” reads like a pub chat. Only Koch’s pride in bad governance leaves a bitter aftertaste.

Cox: Two signs of M&A bacchanal’s last hurrah

By Rob Cox
December 1, 2015

The boom just topped $4 trln, helped along by one telltale massive deal and another much smaller one. Pfizer’s takeover of Allergan is clearly predicated on exploiting tax loopholes while a U.S. retailer is getting into the pizza racket. Both indicate a cycle well past its peak.

Deal cracks open fizzy finance of craft brewing

By Rob Cox
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’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 growth focus raises Budweiser stakes

October 6, 2015

The South African-born brewer used the G-word six times in the first three sentences of an ostensibly ordinary Q2 trading statement. The intention looks clear. Seven days ahead of Anheuser’s deadline to launch a formal $100 bln-plus offer, SAB is saying: pay up or shut up.

Bud-SABMiller investors punch drunk on synergies

September 18, 2015

Markets have added $30 billion to the two brewers’ value in response to a mooted merger. A simple analysis suggests that’s akin to saving at least 15 percent of SABMiller’s revenue – close to what AB InBev got from its last big deal. It’s not impossible, but it’s a tall order.

Bud can swallow SABMiller without busting a gut

September 17, 2015

AB InBev’s offer for the Peroni brewer could come in at $110 billion. Up to half might be paid in equity, while disposals may cut the cash outlay by around $20 billion. Even before synergies, that could leave the new group’s net debt to EBITDA ratio the right side of four times.

Bud’s mega-beer deal will brew global reset

September 16, 2015

After years of speculation, AB InBev has approached SABMiller about a takeover that could value the combined entity at around $280 bln. The giant would complete global consolidation of the brewing industry and lead a new round of regional disposals, spins and amalgamations.