A-B InBev responds to Modelo rumours

Anheuser-Busch InBev has released a statement which confirms talk regarding a possible combination between AB InBev and Grupo Modelo have taken place.

A report in the Wall Street Journal sparked further reports that A-B InBev was hoping to acquire the 50% of Corona Extra brewer Grupo Modelo that it does not own.

The statement reads: “AB InBev routinely considers a variety of strategic options to create value for its shareholders. There have been discussions between the company and Grupo Modelo regarding a possible transaction to expand its current relationship. These discussions may or may not lead to a transaction and any speculation on terms and conditions is therefore premature.

“There is a long history of partnership between Anheuser-Busch InBev and Grupo Modelo and AB InBev has great admiration for the Modelo business and its brands.”

David Bird, senior analyst – consumer markets at Datamonitor commented on the story: "A full-deal between Grupo Modelo and ABInBev would create “win:win” scenarios: Corona, already the world’s fifth largest beer brand, would undoubtedly benefit from the global distribution power of ABInBev in Europe and in the fast growing Asian markets. In the domestic US market, ABInBev would benefit from Corona’s premium positioning and its unique beach lifestyle appeal, as well as ownership of the lesser known but fast-growing Modelo Especial.

"Budweiser itself has been declining in the US, with Bud getting 44% of its sales from outside the US, versus 28% just three years ago as consumers there move away from mainstream beer to spirits, wine and craft beers."