It will be interesting to see how long it takes for consumers to be affected, but for now it's enough to know that the newest international corporate mega-merger is creating a company that will sell more than a quarter of all the beers sold worldwide and will be the fifth-largest consumer goods company on the globe.
The latest hurdle was cleared on Wednesday when shareholders of SABMiller overwhelmingly backed the brewer’s $100 billion-plus takeover by Anheuser-Busch InBev. For the latter, it provides entry into Africa and large, fast-growing Latin American markets such as Colombia and Peru.
A-B InBev’s $103 billion bid was approved in a brief meeting in London. Seventy-five percent of the vote was needed to approve, but 95.5% of SABMiller share value was received.
In an earlier meeting in Brussels, A-B InBev CEO Carlos Brito said the new entity would continue to be called Anheuser-Busch InBev, eliminating any corporate reference to SABMiller, the 120-years-old company founded in South Africa. The brewer had changed its name after transformative deals in the past, such as InBev’s 2008 takeover of St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch.
“They can call it what they wish. That’s the way life works and that’s fine,” du Plessis told reporters after the meeting.
Several joint ventures will be terminated to satisfy anti-trust rules, and such brands as Pironi will be divested. However, the new company still will have such brands as Budweiser, Miller, Corona, Busch, Stella Artois, Rolling Rock, Redd's, Shock Top, Beck's, Kirin, Landshark, Goose Island, O'Doul's, Bass, Beck's ... and on and on.