Anheuser-Busch (AB) has entered friendly takeover talks with rival Belgian brewer Inbev, suggest reports. It is thought that a deal could be announced on Monday if the talks go ahead.
If a deal is struck it would end weeks of hostilities between the two beer companies and create the world’s largest brewer. It would bring AB’s Budweiser into the same portfolio as Stella Artois and Beck’s.
However, the rival companies have been having a public feud over the proposed takeover, with Inbev seeking to oust the American company’s board, and AB accusing the Belgian brewer of lying about its financing commitments.
Reports suggest that Inbev has raised its offer, after August A. Busch IV, Anheuser chief executive, consistently criticised Inbev for its low offer. It has since also emerged that some of AB’s large shareholders, including billionaire Warren E Buffett has been leaning towards backing a deal with Inbev.
Separately, there has been a political backlash from a growing number of American politicians and also consumers, who support the company in its efforts to remain independent.