If completed, the deal could be the biggest overseas beverage acquisition by a Japanese company, potentially topping Kirin’s £2.3bn takeover of Australia’s Lion Nathan in 2009.
The deal would also mean that craft brewer Meantime will have been sold for the second time within a year - having been purchased by SABMiller last May.
At the time, Meantime chief executive Nick Miller talked about the 'longevity' of craft beer - and how committed SABMiller was to the success of Meantime and the various elements of its brand. In August it had to counter accusations that the brewer was using Grolsch in Meantime London Lager.
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Fears of potential brand disposals were confirmed in December 2015 when AB InBev announced they were exploring the sale of a number of SABMiller’s premium brands to help their £71bn acquisition of the company get past regulators in Brussels.
At the time, the group explained its commitment to ‘promptly and proactively address potential regulatory considerations’ and it is now believed AB InBev will push to clinch deals for Peroni and Grolsch, along with British craft brewer Meantime, by early March.
Combined, AB InBev and SABMiller account for one in every three beers sold globally, including many of the most popular brands around the world.
Peroni and Grolsch currently represent two of SABMiller’s four global brands, the others being Miller Genuine Draft and Pilsner Urquell.
Image by Pittaya Sroilong (Flickr)