AB InBev snaps up Italian craft brewer a week after it agreed sale of Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime

 
Francesca Washtell
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AB InBev has taken over Italian craft beer maker Birra del Borgo (Source: Getty)

AB InBev has gulped down an Italian craft beer brand, only a week after it agreed to sell the premium Italian lager brand Peroni as part of its takeover of SABMiller.

The world's largest brewer snapped up Italy's Birra del Borgo for an undisclosed sum, a week after it agreed a $2.55bn bid from Japan's Asahi to buy the Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands if the "megabrew" merger with SABMiller goes through later this year.

The acquisition of Birra del Borgo is the company's second takeover of a craft beer firm this month, after it snapped up US craft favourite Devils Backbone Brewing a fortnight ago.

Birra del Borgo's founder and chief executive, Leonardo Di Vincenzo, will remain head of the brand, according to the Morning Advertiser.

Simon Wuestenberg, country director for AB InBev Italy, said the brewing giant was "very impressed" by what Vincenzo and his team had built since founding the craft brewer in 2005.

Megabrew

To try to pave the way for the megabrew deal, which was agreed last October for £71bn, AB InBev embarked on a jumbo euro bond deal in mid-March. It offered a six-tranche, euro-dominated deal with maturities ranging from four to 20 years in length at a minimum of $1bn each in size.

The Stella Artois maker also raised its dividend on the back of missed expectations in its fourth quarter results, where revenues were up seven per cent.

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