Leuven’s AB InBev completes SABMiller takeover

Summary

The brewer has completed its buyout of SABMiller, giving it its first foothold in Africa and projected annual sales of more than $55 billion

Deal finalised

The merger between brewing giants AB InBev and SABMiller has been finalised, cementing Leuven-based AB InBev’s position as the biggest brewer in the world. The old shares were delisted on Euronext Brussels yesterday, and trading in the new shares has begun. As well as Euronext Brussels, the brewer is listed in Johannesburg and Mexico City.

The name of the newly merged brewer remains AB InBev. SABMiller’s headquarters will remain in London until its main corporate functions merge with AB InBev’s in Leuven.

According to AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito (pictured), the merged entity can provide better financial results than the two companies separately. The focus will remain on achieving stronger sales growth and increased shareholder value.

The acquisition of SABMiller gives AB InBev its first foothold in Africa, somewhere that Brito regards as a major market that is growing even faster than Europe. The new company will have annual sales of more than $55 billion.

AB InBev had previously indicated it expected the merger to deliver more than $1.4 billion in synergies, in part by getting rid of 5,500 jobs worldwide.

Photo: Eric Vidal/Reuters

Belgian beer

Belgium has a beer-brewing tradition going back centuries and is known around the world for both its beer culture and hundreds of craft brews.
History - Beer culture has been recognised by Unesco as part of Flanders’ Intangible Cultural Heritage. The local beer culture dates to the middle ages, when farmers brewed their own beer from the rich harvests of local grain, later transferring brewing to local guilds and abbeys.
Beer styles - The main styles include lambics, white beers, fruit beers, Trappists and abbey beers. The Trappist beer Westvleteren 12, brewed by a dozen monks in a small West Flanders town, is regularly rated by various sources as the best beer in the world.
Exports - Sixty percent of the Belgian beer production is exported abroad, with France, Germany, the Netherlands and the US the largest markets.
74

Litres of beer annually consumed per person in Belgium

100

breweries in Flanders

19

million hectolitres of beer produced in Belgium in 2012