- With just four global brewers left standing, mergers seem a likely course of action, according to analysts.
- Carlsberg and Heineken both have ownership structures that would make big deals difficult. That leaves Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller as the most likely candidates for a deal.
- Were such a deal to happen it would be one with global implications. Such a merger would be valued somewhere around $100 billion and involve some three-quarters of the U.S. beer market. That's unlikely to meet with regulatory approval, and would thus prompt some divestiture.
It's hard to argue with the logic here. The more you look at the numbers, the more it appears that such a deal is likely. The most likely scenario would mean that the newly merged companies would sell off the Miller unit to appease regulators. That won't be easy, but it's not impossible either. The only wild card in this is that Carlsberg appears ready to abandon the ownership structure that makes mergers tough. That could result in a three-man race for the next giant beer deal.