AB InBev planning giant bond sale for SABMiller deal as San Miguel joins list of suitors interested in buying Grolsch and Peroni brands

Clara Guibourg
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AB InBev and SABMiller are hoping to sell Grolsch and Peroni to ease regulatory concerns (Source: Getty)

AB InBev is gearing up for the second-largest global bond deal ever, as it starts selling bonds to complete the first phase of backing its takeover of SABMiller.

The deal looks set to be at least $25bn (£17.3bn) in size, making it the largest corporate sale since Verizon Communication's $49bn bond sale two years ago.

Meanwhile, Philippine brewer San Miguel has joined the list of suitors looking to buy SABMiller’s premium beer brands Grolsch and Peroni.

Since AB InBev and SABMiller shook hands on a £71bn deal, SABMiller has been looking to offload the two European brands to ease regulatory concerns over the takeover, which is the largest ever British corporate merger.

And interest in the beer brands is high: San Miguel’s interest confirmed by the firm’s president Ramon Ang on Wednesday, comes just one day after Japanese brewer Asahi announced it was also mulling over making a bid potentially worth 400bn yen (£2.36bn).

Danish Carlsberg recently shut down rumours that it was hoping to acquire the beers, but other potential suitors that are expected to join the list include Dutch brewer Heineken, Irish C&C Group and US-based Molson Coors.

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AB InBev’s takeover of SABMiller, which will create the world’s largest brewer by far, was agreed in November following months of negotiations and extended regulatory deadlines, but has yet to clear regulatory scrutiny.

Competition concerns are expected to be a significant headache, and offloading Grolsch and Peroni isn’t the first step the firms have taken to ease these concerns. AB InBev is already planning to sell SABMiller’s 42 per cent stake in MillerCoors to co-owner Molson Coors in a £8.3bn deal.

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