By Ian Neubauer

Anheuser-Busch (A-B) and InBev will combine to forge the largest brewing conglomerate in the world after the US brewer accepted a sweetened $53.5 billion takeover offer on Monday.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (A-BI), as the new group will be called, will surpass SABMiller as the number one seller of alcoholic beverages when the acquisition is completed later this year, with 17 per cent of the global market, Bloomberg reported.

The deal is projected to yield cost synergies of at least $1.54 billion annually by 2011 and allow A-BI to negotiate lower commodity and utility prices.

A-BI plans to cull more than 1,000 jobs to improve efficiency but said it is committed to not shut down A-B’s 12 breweries in the US.

InBev CEO, Carlos Brito, said he was excited about the opportunities the combination will create for consumers, shareholders, employees, partners and wholesalers worldwide.

“Together, A-B and InBev will be able to accomplish much more than each can on its own,” he said. “We have been successful business partners for quite some time, and this is the natural next step for us in an increasingly competitive global environment.”

A-B chief executive, August Busch IV, voiced similar sentiments: "This agreement provides additional and certain value for Anheuser-Busch shareholders, while enhancing global market access for Budweiser,” he said. “We will leverage our collective strengths to create a truly diversified, global company to sustain long-term growth and profitability.”


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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