It finally happened. The two largest beer companies in the world have agreed to merge.
Technically it's a takeover of SABMiller by Anheuser-Busch InBev at a cost of 106 billion dollars. That’s nearly fifty percent more than what SABMiller was trading at before the takeover saga started. And SABMiller turned down three offers as not rich enough before saying yes to this one. To me, this deal means a few things. First, the big boys really are worried about the impact of craft beer. Two, they have plenty of faith in size as power. Three, they can make a lot more money together than as competitors.
Now, this is far from a done deal. There are plenty of anti-trust issues worldwide and predictions that the U.S. Justice Department will force SABMiller to divest some of its US holdings. But the merger would leave one company controlling about half the worlds beer profits.
As American craft brewers worry about the impact of this goliath on them, it’s worth noting that much of the impetus for this takeover has little to do with America. Theyre looking at emerging markets such as Africa, Asia and Central and South America. But the impact here at home is well worth worrying about. Think it’s tough for small brands to get shelf space now? It’ll only get worse. And how many breweries will decide its easier to join em than fight em and accept buyout offers? But the good news is simply this – the last thing mega-beer cares about is taste, quality, or craftsmanship. Even the biggest business deal on earth won't produce beer I want to drink.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.