This past week SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch InBev, sworn beer-empire enemies, came to a preliminary agreement wherein AB will buyout SAB to the tune of $104.2 billion dollars, or roughly 200 billion cans of Miller Lite. It’s one of the largest acquisitions in history – assuming it gets past regulators. But my dear Milwaukeeans, you and the Girl in the Moon shouldn’t get your panties in a bunch just yet. Odds are this merger will have little impact on our experiences with our beloved hometown brewery.
There’s a reason why my finely-crafted graphic at the top of this article has two logos you’re probably unfamiliar with: this is a deal between two global behemoths with their sights set on emerging markets, such as SABMiller’s growing control in Africa, and not so much our established US drinkers. Most analysts believe that this deal, which would make one company in charge of 70% of the United States’ suds, won’t pass regulators.
SABMiller owns MillerCoors which owns the Miller brand and portfolio. However, MillerCoors is already a joint-venture with Molson Coors Brewing Co., which is still a huge company but significantly smaller than both SABMiller and AB InBev. Likely, AB InBev will be required to divest their US holdings (ie. MillerCoors), and the natural suitor is the other half of the current arrangement, Molson Coors.
So what does this all mean?
- We shouldn’t be worried about those dirty STL birds destroying our beloved High Life.
- It’s much more likely that Molson (Canada) Coors (Colorado) will own Miller soon, at least in the USA.
- Odds are the brewing operation in Milwaukee will be unaffected, at least for the average person.
No tears should be shed, nor beers spilled, over this business deal. We can save that for next year’s Brewers season, instead.