The beer blogosphere is all abuzz this morning, with word coming via the austere (virtual) pages of the Wall Street Journal that InBev has raised its takeover offer for Anheuser-Busch by $4 billion, or $5 per share.
If this indeed comes to pass, it will be the biggest deal the global brewing industry has ever seen and will create what is by far the world’s largest brewing company, with $36 billion in annual sales, over 322 million barrels of annual production and some 300 brands. (Thanks to my buddy Lew Bryson over at Seen Through a Glass for coming up with those numbers, plus a cool moniker for the new company.)
Will a backlash form in the U.S., where saveab.com has registered almost 70,000 signatures on its petition to stop the deal? Will the new behemoth – I can’t seem to stop typing that word today – be good news or bad for the world’s craft brewers? Will SABMiller respond with a purchase of its own?
No one knows for certain, but one thing is for sure: This is going to get very interesting before all the dust has settled.