Anheuser-Busch InBev buys remaining stake in Grupo Modelo

Corona to become a global flagship brand of the Belgian brewer alongside Budweiser.

Budweiser is the flagship brand of AB InBev. Credit: Getty Images

The Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has signed an agreement to acquire the remaining stake in the Mexican beer maker Grupo Modelo for $20.1bn in cash, or for $9.15 per share. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013.

The merged company would produce roughly 400 million hectolitres of beer per annum and is expected to yield annual synergies of at least $600m. Its operations would span 24 countries with enhanced opportunities for 150,000 employees across the globe.

Carlos Brito, CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, said:

Grupo Modelo has been one of our most important partners for more than 20 years and we are very pleased to evolve our long and successful relationship into this combination.

There is tremendous opportunity from combining two leading brand portfolios and further expanding Grupo Modelo’s brands worldwide through AB InBev’s extensive global distribution network. Our admiration for Grupo Modelo’s business and brands has only increased with time and we look forward to joining our historic and world-class breweries. We also recognise and appreciate the critical role that Grupo Modelo’s shareholders and management have played in the company’s longstanding success within Mexico and internationally and look forward to their continued contributions.

Carlos Fernández, chairman and CEO of Grupo Modelo, said:

We have worked together with AB InBev in a productive decades-long partnership, and it is time to cement our relationship through this merger.

Together we will be the leading global brewer with top brands around the world and positions in some of the fastest growing countries. This is an exciting transaction that will bring our brands and proud heritage to even more consumers internationally while offering an increasing number of AB InBev’s brands in Mexico. Grupo Modelo’s board believes that this combination will deliver significant benefits for all stakeholders.

AB InBev will maintain Grupo Modelo’s name, identity, heritage and headquarters in Mexico City. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals in the US, Mexico and other countries and other customary closing conditions.

In related news, Grupo Modelo has agreed to sell its existing 50 per cent stake in Crown Imports to Constellation Brands for $1.85bn.