The most alarming possibility: Global beer consolidation. What the hell does that mean?
A Financial Times’ Alphaville post today revealed that InBev is launching a $46 billion plan to takeover Anheuser-Busch.
InBev, a Belgian company whose main beer brand is Stella Artois, is aiming to create the fifth largest consumer products group in the world with the completion of this deal. Obviously a huge deal, but the FT describes it with some very epic language:
The deal is being billed as a Ã¢â‚¬Å“transformationalÃ¢â‚¬Â move by those executives and bankers involved, and is likely to herald the long-awaited end-game in global drinks industry consolidation.
The term ‘global drinks industry consolidation end game’ really scares me. What the f does that even mean for us? After all the companies have merged, will we someday be drinking a syrupy grog of amalgamated beers and liquors? That is not the jet-pack and rocket-car-filled future I had imagined.
I know, I know, it’s probably inevitable that each brand will join up with another brand to increase market exposure in other parts of the world and cut costs, but it’s all a little unsettling.
The FT article continues to scare the crap out of me by explaining how the deal isn’t yet at a breaking point:
On Friday, sources indicated that while extensive work had been carried out on the transaction, InBev was Ã¢â‚¬Å“not about to push the button.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Is there really ‘a button’ for this kind of thing? I imagine it to be a very large red one labeled, ‘INSTANT BEER CONSOLIDATION’, located right next to the ‘emergency beer phone’.
Things continue when the FT describes the combined output of the two brands:
Anheuser and InBev together would be almost equally balanced between developed and emerging market operations across the globe, pumping out around 350m hectolitres of beer and other beverages annually.
Wow, hectolitres? My sources confirm that 1 liter = .01 hectolitres, but seriously, what an odd measurement. Can you imagine going into your favorite brewhouse of choice and ordering 20 hectolitres of your favorite drink? That’s the kind of thing a guy could get killed for at the motorcycle wine bars I frequent.
Will this deal help us all get drunk easier?
Let us know your opinion in the comments section.
FT: [Bud & Becks] InBev targets takeover of Anheuser-Busch May 23, 2008