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InBev To Buy Out Modelo For $20.1 Billion

Fri, 06/29/2012 - 9:33am
Toby Sterling, AP Business Writer

BRUSSELS (AP) — Anheuser-Busch InBev SA agreed Friday to buy the half of Corona maker Grupo Modelo it doesn't already own for $20.1 billion in cash, in a deal that will greatly increase the size and dominance of the world's largest brewer.

In a statement, InBev said it has agreed with the Modelo's management to pay $9.15 per share for the company, a 30 percent premium to the Mexican company's share price just before news of a possible deal came out on June 22.

The combined company would have annual sales of $47 billion, and employ 150,000 workers in 24 countries.

The companies said the agreement was a "natural step," in light of InBev's current stake in Modelo.

"Grupo Modelo has been one of our most important partners for more than 20 years and we are very pleased to evolve our long and successful relationship into this combination," said InBev CEO Carlos Brito. "There is tremendous opportunity from combining two leading brand portfolios and further expanding Grupo Modelo's brands worldwide through AB InBev's extensive global distribution network. "

The deal would join brands such as Corona, Modelo and Pacifico with InBev's Budweiser, Beck's and Stella Artois, among others.

Shares in InBev rose 1.6 percent to €59.93 ($75.38) in Brussels.

InBev said it expects the companies will save $600 million annually by combining operations. Regulators around the world, but most importantly in Mexico and the U.S. must approve the deal. InBev said it expects the deal to close during the first quarter of 2013.

In a related deal, Modelo agreed to sell its 50 percent stake in distributor Crown Imports LLC to its partner, winemaker Constellation Brands Inc. of New York, for $1.85 billion.

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