Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Tuesday, 18 November 2008

InBev completes Budweiser merger

Budweiser sign at Anheuser-Busch brewery in St Louis
Budweiser is the most popular beer in the US

Belgium-based brewer InBev has said it had closed its $52bn (35bn) takeover of the US's Anheuser-Busch to create the world's largest brewer.

"Effective today, InBev has changed its name to Anheuser-Busch InBev," InBev said in a statement.

The new company will be one of the leading consumer products firms in the world.

Anheuser makes Budweiser - the most popular beer in the US - while InBev produces Stella Artois and Beck's.

InBev agreed to sell its Labatt USA business and associated licenses to get approval from the US Justice Department on anti-trust grounds.

46 billion litres of beer

Some US politicians had expressed anger at the prospect of Anheuser-Busch being taken over by a foreign company.

COMBINED BEER BRAND MENU
Stella, Budweiser, Beck's, Hoegaarden, Leffe, Brahma, Staropramen, Michelob, Rolling Rock

InBev, itself formed by a giant merger of Brazil's AmBev and Belgium's Interbrew several years ago, has promised that Budweiser's headquarters would remain in St Louis, Missouri while none of Anheuser-Busch's US breweries will be closed.

The combined business will have annual sales of $36.4bn, equivalent to 46 billion litres of beer a year.

The two firms have said the deal will generate annual savings of $1.5bn but have suggested that job losses will be kept to a minimum because there is little current overlap between the two businesses.

Anheuser-Busch controls nearly half of the US market, while InBev is strong in Western European and Latin American markets.

It also owns stakes in Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo and Chinese brewer Tsingtao.

The deal should give Budweiser a platform to boost its growth in Europe where, apart from a number of markets like the UK, it has been relatively weak.

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SEE ALSO
Budweiser takeover gets clearance
14 Nov 08 |  Business
Stella firm buys Budweiser brewer
14 Jul 08 |  Business
InBev aims to sack Anheuser board
07 Jul 08 |  Business
Budweiser brewer rejects takeover
27 Jun 08 |  Business

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