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SABMiller Might Be Too Late to Stop AB InBev

The big news in the world of beer is a report in the Wall Street Journal on how Anheuser-Busch InBev is looking for financing to purchase its chief rival, SABMiller, in a deal estimated to be worth $122 billion. The combined company would control 29 percent of the world’s beer industry, according to Euromonitor.

There’s one significant wrinkle in this developing story: SABMiller is an unwilling acquisition target. In fact, as Bloomberg reports, SABMiller is courting Heineken, the family-owned brewer responsible for 9 percent of the global market, to make the attempted swallowing by AB InBev all the more difficult. There are limits to what regulators will allow. The question is, why didn’t SABMiller act sooner? Analysts have been predicting for years that AB InBev would come after its chief competitor.