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ABI-SABMiller Blockbuster Closes, Reshaping The U.S. Beer Market

October 11, 2016

Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) has completed its blockbuster acquisition of SABMiller, in a move that reshapes the beer market both globally and in the U.S.

The new entity, created with ABI’s $100 billion-plus purchase of its archrival, will continue to be known as Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV. Its global market share exceeds 30%, according to Impact Databank.

In the U.S. market, the deal paves the way for Molson Coors to become the sole owner of MillerCoors. Molson Coors, which now becomes the world’s fifth-biggest brewer, according to Impact Databank, is paying $12 billion to acquire SABMiller’s 58% stake in MillerCoors. MillerCoors, the U.S. market’s second-leading brewer, was formed in 2008 when SABMiller and Molson Coors merged their U.S. brewing interests. It will remain based in Chicago, where it’s headed by CEO Gavin Hattersley. Hattersley, who became CEO in mid-2015, was previously an executive with both SABMiller and Molson Coors.

With craft and import beer growing much faster than the mainstream segment over recent years, ABI’s and MillerCoors’s grip on the U.S. beer market has loosened. Still, the two have a combined market share of more than 70%. Additionally, both players have aggressively ramped up their activities in the craft segment through a series of acquisitions. —Peter Zwiebach

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