SAB shareholders may have won the most in AB InBev merger
Conditions in the funding and beer-drinking market have become tougher since the mega-deal
As long ago as the mid-1990s former CEO of SAB Graham Mackay seemed to have worked out in fine detail how the consolidation of the global beer market would play out. It’s impossible to know if Mackay, who died in December 2013, would have anticipated a little-known South American company emerging as the dominant global player at the end of the 25-year consolidation process. But it’s difficult not to imagine that while SAB did not emerge as the ultimate industry dominator, the SAB shareholders may have won more than most of the other shareholders involved in the process. Legend has it that Mackay, who drove SAB’s remarkably successful internationalisation strategy, had achieved some success in discussions with the Heineken family that could have created an unassailable merged entity. And, presumably, it would have done so without the need to spend many billions of dollars buying the top position. However, nothing came of those discussions after Mackay’s premature death.But as AB InBe...