With M&A Booming, Anheuser-Busch InBev Likely Plotting Its Next Big Move

Through the first half of 2015, the volume of announced merger and acquisition activity is on a record-breaking pace (the data go back 35 years). While using dollar volume is a bit misleading without adjusting for inflation (ever wonder, like me, why movie theater box office receipts¬†are based on ticket sales dollars rather than actual attendance?), there is no question that M&A is booming right now. And yet, one of my favorite acquisition-hungry companies, Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), has been very quiet. It has been two years since BUD spent $20 billion to lock up 100% of Grupo Modelo. This market environment (low interest rates and lots of synergistic corporate deal-making) would seem to fit right into BUD’s business model.

Over the years rumors have surfaced about their possible¬†interest in Pepsi’s beverage business, as well as SABMiller’s non-US beer business, and either of those deals would clearly be a boon for investors (but I am not picky — anytime hugely accretive deal would be a welcomed development). I am hopeful that over the next 6-12 months BUD makes a splash in the M&A market. The recently announced merger of Heinz and Kraft might indicate that a BUD deal is not far off. 3G Capital, the private equity company behind the Heinz deal, has also been instrumental in creating the behemoth that has become Anheuser-Busch InBev over the years. Now that the Kraft deal has been struck, I am hoping BUD is next on the to-do list.

Full Disclosure: Long shares of BUD and KRFT at the time of writing, but positions may change at any time

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