AB InBev close to deal to buy Corona brewer

City A.M. Reporter
ANHEUSER-BUSCH InBev is nearing a deal to buy the 50 per cent of Corona Extra beer maker Grupo Modelo that it does not own, in a move that could cost the Belgian brewer more than $10bn (£6.41bn), according to reports last night.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall St Journal said a deal could come as early as this week although the timing remains uncertain.

Modelo, Mexico’s largest brewer, has a market value of roughly $23bn. Anheuser-Busch InBev owns a 50 per cent non-controlling stake in Modelo.

That means any deal handing control of family-controlled Modelo could cost Anheuser-Busch InBev well over $10bn if it buys out the family entirely, according to the report.

Representatives of Anheuser-Busch InBev and Modelo could not be immediately reached for comment outside regular business hours.

In its last trading update in April Grupo Modelo saw its first-quarter profit rise by 5.4 per cent, as a jump in sales was offset by higher costs for distribution and administration.

The Corona-maker said quarterly profit rose to 2.259bn pesos from 2.143bn pesos a year earlier.

Revenue rose 10.6 per cent to 21.275bn pesos from 19.234bn in the year-earlier period. Modelo said it sold more beer both in Mexico and abroad, particularly in the United States, Australia and Asia.