Report says AB InBev seeks financing to acquire SABMiller

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is talking to banks about financing a $122 billion deal to acquire global beer rival SABMiller PLC, the parent company of Chicago-based MillerCoors, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

A merger between the world’s two largest brewing companies has been speculated for years, but a revival in global merger activity this year has sparked renewed speculation about a deal, according to the report. AB InBev is not in active discussions with SABMiller. A source told the newspaper that the company is waiting to line up its financing before making a formal approach.

The talks about financing come on the heels of an approach by SABMiller to buy Dutch brewer Heineken NV, which said Sunday it had rejected the offer. SABMiller was not discouraged by Heineken’s initial rejection and would consider another bid, according to another person familiar with the discussions, the Journal reported.

AB InBev, which owns Budweiser, had a nearly 20-percent share of the global beer market in 2013, according to data service Euromonitor. It is trailed by SABMiller, with a 9.6-percent share, and Heineken, with a 9.3-percent share.

MillerCoors operates a Miller Brewing brewery in Milwaukee.

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