Big to Bigger

Distributor consolidation in Texas creates largest A-B distributor in the country

Houston’s Anheuser-Busch distributor has agreed to buy the Budweiser distributor in San Antonio which it says will make it the nations’ largest wholesale Anheuser-Busch distributor.

Silver Eagle Distributors is planning to acquire San Antonio-based BudCo, which will join two of the largest beer distributor groups in Texas.

This deal follows suit to a growing trend of beer wholesalers consolidating to create “mega-wholesalers,” said Benj Steinman, editor at Beer Marketer’s Insight, a trade publication for the industry.

“These large entities are being created and it really is where the beer industry is headed,” he said. “We used to have 5,000 wholesale distributors over 35 years ago, now we’re down to 2,000.”

Industry sources put the deal at $250-$ million, or a whopping $20 per case.

“This is absolutely a transformative deal,” said Steinman The combined company “will control over half the volume for Anheuser-Busch in the state.”