After weeks of negotiations, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller have agreed to a $104.2 billion acquisition deal today. If the merger is approved by shareholders and regulators, it would be the largest acquisition in beer and a top-five acquisition overall.
To avoid anti-trust laws, SABMiller will likely have to divest portions of its company to get the okay from regulators. Some have speculated that Chicago-based MillerCoors would be a part of the divestment.
According to the Wall Street Journal, if AB InBev doesn’t clear the regulatory process, or its shareholders don’t approve the deal, the company would pay SAB Miller a breakup fee of $3 billion.
News of the potential acquisition comes on the heels of a U.S. Justice Department probe into whether AB InBev is actively trying to curb competition in the U.S. by buying up distributors and pushing them to cut ties with the craft beer industry and carry their products exclusively. According to a story in Reuters, AB InBev recently purchased five large distributors in three states.
Read more about the details of the potential acquisition via the Wall Street Journal, and read about what it could mean for craft beer in The Growler’s interview with the Brewers Association’s Paul Gatza.