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First Rule of Investment Banking: Don't Miss the ABI-SAB Deal

  • Advisory fees may be as much as $235 million: Freeman
  • ABI may need to raise $50 billion of debt, people say
AB InBev Approaches SABMiller for Deal Uniting Top Beermakers
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Investment bankers in New York and London have known for years about a deal they couldn’t afford to miss: Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s long-rumored tie-up with SABMiller Plc, which would create a global brewing colossus with combined annual sales of about $81 billion.

So far, though, very few of them have landed roles, leading to an all-out scramble to win potentially lucrative work advising one of the two companies, or financing AB InBev’s offer, in what could be the biggest deal of the year.