The Big Crunch

A.B. InBev may shed Grolsch and Peroni

Source: Peroni

Beer giant A.B. InBev is considering selling off two European beer brands as part of its proposed merger with competitor SABMiller, according to reports.

If the deal goes through, the new company would control commanding market shares in much of the world. So how big are Grolsch and Peroni, the two SABMiller beers that could be sold?

They're major brands in their home countries of the Netherlands and Italy, respectively, but relatively small parts of the SABMiller empire. Together, the two breweries produced about 6 million hectoliters of beer last year, according to company documents. That's about 2.5 percent of SABMiller's 2014 production and 1 percent of production by the two giants combined.

SABMiller bought 60 percent of Birra Peroni for $283 million in 2003, and then exercised options for an additional 39.8 percent for $213 million two years later. The company purchased Royal Grolsch NV for $1.2 billion in 2007. Based on InBev's $105 billion offer for SABMiller, that puts the value of the brands at that time at about 2 percent of SABMiller's current price.

According to Assobirra, Peroni held about 19 percent of the Italian beer market in 2014, behind only Heineken. Grolsch has about 13 percent of the market in the Netherlands. Although the two beers are a small part of SABMiller's overall portfolio, the sale could help the new beer giant reduce overlaps in those markets and survive scrutiny by European regulators.

SABMiller has to sell its 58 percent stake in MillerCoors to its partner, Molson Coors Brewing, for $12 billion earlier this month. That MillerCoors joint venture in North America accounts for about 16 percent of SABMiller's production last year, and accounts for about 27 percent of its U.S. market share.