Anheuser-Busch / InBev Close To Purchasing Grupo Modelo / Corona ($12 Billion)----UPDATE from AB/InBev & Modelo

25 June 2012

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This form the WallStJournal:

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is close to taking control of Corona Extra beer maker Grupo Modelo SAB de CV, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that could be valued at more than $12 billion and would end a contentious history between the two companies.

It would also consolidate the Belgian brewer's ownership of Corona Extra, one of the world's top beer brands.

AB InBev currently owns a 50% noncontrolling stake in Modelo, Mexico's largest brewer. The timing of any deal is uncertain, though two of the people said it could come as early as this week.

This UPDATE from Anheuser-Busch:

Anheuser-Busch/InBev notes the recent speculation regarding a possible combination between AB/InBev and Grupo Modelo. AB/InBev routinely considers a variety of strategic options to create value for its shareholders. There have been discussions between the company and Grupo Modelo regarding a possible transaction to expand its current relationship. These discussions may or may not lead to a transaction & any speculation on terms and conditions is therefore premature. There is a long history of partnership between Anheuser-Busch InBev and Grupo Modelo and AB InBev has great admiration for the Modelo business and its brands.

and this UPDATE from Modelo:

Family-controlled Modelo confirmed Monday it was in talks about expanding a relationship with the Belgian brewing giant, but said in a statement it would be premature to speculate on any outcome of the talks.

A deal would give Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, access to 2 percent to 3 percent annual growth in the Mexican market and win distribution rights to Corona, the largest U.S. imported beer brand.

AB InBev, the brewer of Budweiser and Stella Artois, already owns a 50.4 percent stake in Modelo and is discussing buying the rest from the controlling Modelo families, who have 56 percent of the shareholder voting power, people familiar with the talks said.

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