The rumour mill is churning this week with reports that Anheuser-Busch InBev – the leading global brewer, with over 200 beer brands in its portfolio – is looking to follow up their acquisition of Gruppo Modelo in Mexico by swallowing their nearest rival, SABMiller.

The US$20.1 billion Gruppo Modelo deal saw AB InBev buy out the remaining shares that they did not already own, putting them firmly in control of the Mexican beer market.

The next target in this increasingly narrow field would appear to be an US$80 billion bid for SABMiller, the acquisition of which would make AB InBev a very big fish in a rather small pond.

However, it appears the merger – if indeed it was ever being considered – would be a fair way off. Industry experts have been quoted in the last few days as saying that due to the narrowing of the market there were fewer targets to acquire and those that are left are simply too expensive to consider – even for a company as big as AB InBev.

That said, only time will tell.

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