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Anheuser-Busch, InBev Reported To Be In Early-Stage Merger Talks

Brewer Anheuser-Busch is said to be in preliminary merger talks with Belgian brewer InBev, according to a report in a Brazilian business daily Valor Economico.

A source close to top InBev investors Marcel Hermann Telles, Carlos Alberto Sicupira and Jorge Paulo Lemann said the two companies have held preliminary talks about a union, the report said.

The trio were behind the $11 billion merger between Brazilian brewer Companhia de Bebidas das Americas, or AmBev, and Interbrew. That deal created InBev in 2004.

Last November, Anheuser-Busch become the exclusive importer of a number of InBev's European brands, including Stella Artois, Beck's and Bass Pale Ale.

InBev's shares rose more than 5% on the report, and sparked a rally in the European brewing sector.