London-based brewer SABMIller confirmed that Belgium's Anheuser-Busch InBev intended to make a proposal to acquire it. SABMiller said it has not yet received a proposal and would respond as appropriate. Shares in AB InBev closed more than 6 percent up, while SABMiller saw its stock price shoot nearly 20 percent higher.
Beverage companies elsewhere fizzed on the news. Brewing firms Heineken and Carlsberg surged to close up 3.6 and 4.7 percent respectively. Remy Cointreau closed up 5.2 percent.
Oil prices shot up sharply on Wednesday, after an unexpected decline in U.S. stockpiles and an rise in U.S. gasoline prices, which helped offset fears over Asia. U.S. crude surged over 5 percent to trade above $47 per barrel, while Brent gained more than 4 percent to trade around $49.75.
Feeding off this, oil companies posted sharp gains, with Seadrill up 6.9 percent and Dutch-based firm SBM offshore up 5.3 percent.