SABMiller held talks with Modelo, Inbev, report

25 June, 2008

The shockwaves from Inbev’s £46bn bid to buy Anheuser-Busch could lead to a merger between SABMiller and Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, reports claim.

The shockwaves from Inbev’s £46bn bid to buy Anheuser-Busch could lead to a merger between SAB-Miller and Corona brewer Grupo Modelo.

Both SABmiller and Modelo, in which Anheuser has a 50 per cent stake, have held informal talks with Inbev about future consolidation - should Inbev succeed in buying Anheuser, Reuters reported.

The report suggested that Inbev’s talks with Modelo were aimed at reassuring the Mexican company that it would have exit options if Inbev bought Anheuser’s stake in the company.

Acquisition of Modelo would strengthen SAB’s position in Latin American, where it already owns breweries in six countries.

Both Inbev and SAB Miller told Off Licence News they had no comment to make on the reports.

Anheuser is thought to have held its own talks about buying out the remaining shares in Modelo in an attempt to stave of the threat of an Inbev takeover or force a higher bid from the Belgian brewer which owns Stella Artois and Beck’s.

The Budweiser brewer held a board meeting on Friday but no decision was reached, suggesting split opinions among directors.

If Inbev does succeed in acquiring Anheuser it will create the world’s biggest brewer and a new top five consumer goods company.

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