In a move seen as a way to fight off a potential takeover by Anheuser-Busch InBev, large brewer SABMiller has reportedly offered to buy Heineken. The family that controls the Dutch-based brewer rejected the idea, according to Bloomberg News.
Citing “people with knowledge of the matter,” the business news agency says SABMiller made its offer in the past two weeks. The two companies would not comment on the story, but Bloomberg portrayed it as part of SABMiller’s strategy to remain a competitor to AB InBev — instead of becoming one of its many acquisitions.
“SABMiller has long been the subject of speculation regarding a possible takeover by AB InBev, the Belgian giant that has spent close to $100 billion over the past decade to purchase brews from Corona to Budweiser. By acquiring Heineken, SABMiller would add more than $25 billion in sales and bolster its presence in emerging markets including Africa and Mexico, while helping keep control over its future.”
If SABMiller and AB InBev were combined, analysts say, the resulting corporation would account for nearly half of the world’s beer profits.
The 150-year-old Heineken has been reworking itself this year, seeking to put renewed emphasis on its core business. As the Dutch website NLTimes reports, the company plans to sell a Mexican canning and bottling company for more than $1 billion.
In addition to its Heineken and Amstel labels, Heineken also owns the Mexican brands Dos Equis, Sol and Tecate. The company’s other brands include Strongbow cider, Italy’s Birra Moretti and Belgium’s Affligem.
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