A-B Acquires InBev Brands

Major deal to change distribution landscape

Anheuser-Busch has acquired the importing, marketing and distribution rights for all of the InBev US brands, with the exception of Labatts and Brahma.

The InBev portfolio includes Bass, Beck’s, Stella Artois, Boddington’s, Hoegaarden, Lowenbrau and others. The deal will take place February 1st of next year.

Each A-B distributor will have the responsibility of acquiring the InBev brand portfolio from other distributors in their market. Currently, InBev brands are typically distributed by Miller and Coors distributors. In many instances, current InBev distributors will be reluctant to sell the brands given the high margin and volume potential. The shift will be particularly difficult in strong franchise states.

But the deal provides much needed and requested high margin, high growth specialty brands to the A-B distribution network. Exclusive A-B distributors have been particularly vocal about the need to expand their portfolio. The acquisition also gives A-B access to the profitable revenue stream of import brands.