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InBev Closer to Bid for Anheuser-Busch: Sources

InBev, the giant Belgian beer company, is moving closer to making an unsolicited bid for Anheuser-Busch, people close to InBev have told CNBC.

InBev has been considering a bid for Anheuser-Busch for weeks, but in recent days has indicated the likelihood of moving forward with a bid for the American beer giant has increased.

Given how much work InBev has already done on a potential bid for Anheuser-Busch, people close to the company said it could fire the opening salvo what could be bruising takeover battle within days. (See the CNBC report in the accompanying video.)

That does not mean an InBev bid has been fully decided on, however. Embarking on a forced cross-border deal for an American icon of similar size is not easy.

Still, the mostly Belgian and Brazilian executives who run InBev—the company was formed by the 2004 merger of Belgium's Interbrew and Brazil's AmBev—believe there's a large enough constituency of frustrated shareholders in Anheuser-Busch to bolster their attempt to get a deal done.

InBev has spent much of the last few weeks trying to gain certainty that should it move ahead with a bid for Anheuser-Busch and that it can raise the financing necessary to back a bid. Raising what is expected to be as much as $40 billion in financing during a global credit crisis can be difficult, but bankers told CNBC that for a deal of this type—investment grade, global and strategic—it is possible.

InBev appears to have been successful in getting enough certainty about financing.

Shares of Anheuser-Busch rose 2.1 percent to $58.35 on Wednesday.