Africa expected to play vital role in brewery merger

According to Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB Inbev), the world largest brewer, its takeover of SABMiller will create a truly global brewery business in which Africa will play a vital role.

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The continent was growing in importance in the global beer industry and had very attractive markets with increasing GDPs, a growing middle-class, and expanding economic opportunities, according to a statement published by AB InBev. 

“It is expected that the African continent will represent approximately 8,1% of the global beer industry by volumes by 2025, with beer volumes expected to grow at nearly three times the rate of global beer volumes between 2014 and 2025,” the statement said.

The merger process of the world’s two largest breweries is expected to be concluded on 10 October.

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This follows the SABMiller board’s acceptance of a £1 increase in AB InBev’s offer to £45 (R824,88) per SABMiller share. AB InBev was forced to increase its previous offer of £44 (R805,55) a share after the pound devalued following the Brexit vote in the UK.

The group’s headquarters will remain in Leuven, Belgium and its Global Functional Management Office will be based in New York in the US. Current chairpersom of Telkom SA’s board, Jabu Mabuza, will serve as chairperson of the Africa board.

“Mabuza’s successful entrepreneurial background, pan-African experience and involvement in the public sector will be invaluable to the combined group and the Africa board, which will play an important role in advising the business across the continent as it moves forward," Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev said.