Speculation that Anheuser-Busch
The details of what will be an extremely complex transaction, involving a plethora of share swaps among several controlling interests, can be found in this morning's press release. Here's the view from 10,000 feet:
AmBev gets Interbrew's assets in North America: a wholly owned Labatt Canadian subsidiary, a 70% interest in Labatt USA, and a 30% stake in Mexican brewer Femsa. AmBev will also control operations in both North America and Latin America. In exchange, Interbrew gets a 57% ownership stake in AmBev, while controlling 85% of its voting interest.
Upon completion of the deal(s), the company will be called InterbrewAmBev and maintain Interbrew's headquarters in Belgium. AmBev will retain its headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and will have co-CEOs, one for North America and one for Latin America. InterbrewAmBev and AmBev will maintain separate stock exchange listings.
Complicated as it sounds, this seems like a good strategic fit for Interbrew and AmBev, as it expands the reach of both companies. The new InterbrewAmBev will have $11.6 billion in annual revenues -- trailing only Anheuser-Busch by that measure -- and will control about 14% of the global beer market. The companies also expect annual cost synergies of about $350 million.
For most North American-centric investors, the big news is that Anheuser-Busch has no intentions of invading South America -- at least, for now.
Give us your take on the Anheuser-Busch discussion board -- only at Fool.com. Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns shares of Anheuser-Busch.