AB InBev, the world's biggest brewer, learnt something important from SABMiller, the erstwhile rival it swallowed three years ago. "They showed us that low-alcohol beers could be sold at a premium," AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito said this week. Wearing a blue shirt with the Budweiser logo embroidered on it, Brito told reporters in Johannesburg that he prefers the deal of more than $100bn (R.145-trillion) not be called a takeover - "it was a business combination". Brito, a Brazilian, was involved in six massive mergers over the past two-and-a-half decades to create the AB InBev of today - a giant that brews more beer than any other. He enjoys a Castle Lite when he is in SA, but prefers Budweiser. His company has a multi-year strategy to capture a larger share of the world's premium beer market, because that is where the profits lie. Budweiser is one of three global premium brands it wants to do most of the heavy lifting. The other two are Corona and Stella Artois. But premiumisation is a...

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