Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller toast landmark beer deal

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The world's biggest beer company, Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed in principle a deal worth€92bn to buy its closest rival, SABMiller.

AB InBev will pay £44 a share in cash for a majority of SABMiller shares - this is 50% higher than SABMiller's closing price on September 14th, the day before media reports suggested that an offer was on the way, and two days before the offer was made.

The new entity will make one out of every three bottles of beer sold in the world. Anheuser-Busch's properties include Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, Beck's, Leffe and Hoegaarden - it will now take control of SABMiller's brands which include Miller, Coors, Peroni, Pilsner Urquell and Grolsch.

After informally rejecting AB InBev's first three offers, saying that the company was being undervalued, SABMiller's board has now agreed to unanimously recommend that its shareholders accept the improved offer.

Given the size of the deal, and the large stake that it will give one company in the global beer market, The Wall St Journal reports that it will be subject to stiff antitrust scrutiny in a number of different territories - this means that it could take over a year for the deal to go through.

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