Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev NV/SA (BUD: Quote,AHBIF.PK) is nearing a deal to buy the remainder of Mexico's Grupo Modelo SAB, owner of the Corona Extra beer, for over $12 billion, reports said.
The company already has a 50 percent non-controlling stake in beer brewer Modelo through InBev's 2008 purchase of Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion. That deal also gave AB InBev nine seats on Modelo board after the Mexican brewer lost in its effort to deny seats.
Modelo, with roots going as far back as 1925, has a market value of $23 billion. It is Mexico's biggest beer brewer.
The company has managed to expand its business in the U.S. and in some other countries without using the distribution network of AB InBev. Modelo has a marketing joint venture with Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) in the U.S.
AB InBev is the result of a series of takeovers. Its brands include Beck's, Bass, Labatt Blue and Stella Artois.
While the timing of the deal is not known, it may be announced as early as this weak. It is also possible for the talks to fall through before reaching a deal.
European brewers have been focusing on acquisitions to expand in overseas markets as the economic crisis, austerity measures and unemployment retard growth domestically. In April, AB InBev agreed to buy Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana for $2.5 billion.
SAB Miller Plc. (SAB) last year bought Australia's Foster's for around $10 billion. In 2010, Heineken N.V. bought Mexico's Femsa Cerveza for around $7 billion.
AB InBev shares are currently up 0.93 percent in Brussels at 56.15 euros on a volume of 354,035 shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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