Closing Bell

Monday - Friday, 3:00-4:00 PM ET
Closing Bell

Bud Clydesdales Pull For InBev Merger: Report

Anheuser Busch

Sao Paulo business journal Valor Economico reported that merger talks are underway between Anheuser-Busch and Brazil's InBev -- and analysts joined "Closing Bell" to hail the heady news.

Dan Poole, National City's assistant director of research, told CNBC's Maria Bartiromo that aging baby boomers are a problem


for Anheuser, brewer of such beach-and-dorm favorites as Budweiser: Poole says America's 21-to-28 demographic is nowadays turning to spirits; and Bud's traditional fans are veering to spirits and wines as they age -- and are the recipients of marketing portraying grape beverages as more sophisticated. Thus, a deal with InBev would give Anheuser access to markets in Canada and Latin America, where the hoppy drinks are still very much in demand.

Mark Swartzberg, beverage analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, said his firm is "seeing exactly what [Poole] is saying" vis-a-vis a graying America. Swartzberg has a "hold" rating on Anheuser based on its "valuation and secular challenge" in the U.S.  A merger with InBev, he says, "could be very good" for the sesquicentennial Anheuser.

Frothy Or Flat?