SABMiller and AB Inbev's megabrew deal "won't give European beer market a hangover"

 
Clara Guibourg
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Moody's concluded that the deal is “unlikely to alter the competitive landscape" (Source: Getty)

Don’t worry, there won’t be a hangover for European markets from AB InBev’s £71bn takeover of SABMiller.

At least according to a new report from Moody’s, giving the megabrew deal its blessing by announcing that the merger is “unlikely to alter the competitive landscape of the European beer market over the next 12-24 months”.

Moody’s estimates that it will take the new entity, which will be the world’s largest brewer by far, around that long to hit its stride, but even after 2017, the most rapid growth is expected to be outside Europe.

Through the merger, AB InBev is looking to gain a foothold on the African market, where it has next to no presence today.

Read more: Megabrew is here: Now the hangover begins

AB InBev and SABMiller struck a deal for £44 a share in November, after months of negotiations and extended deadlines from UK regulators.

The price represents a 50 per cent premium on SABMiller’s share price before the deal was announced, and the deal will create a “beer-hemoth” with an annual revenue of £42bn.

The deal has yet to pass regulatory scrutiny, however, over fears that the resulting beer giant will be too dominant.

To ease concerns, SABMiller is selling its Miller Coors’ stake to co-owner Molson Coors, and is looking to offload its premium brands Peroni and Grolsch.

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