InBev agreed to buy Anheuser-Busch Cos. for $52 billion to become the world's biggest brewer and gain almost half the U.S. market for beer, the companies said in a joint news release early today.
The combined company will be called Anheuser-Busch InBev, and both companies' boards of directors have approved the deal unanimously.
The takeover of Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis would be the second-biggest acquisition of a consumer-goods company and ends a month of court fights and public disputes over the future of the 156-year-old maker of Budweiser.
St. Louis would become the headquarters for the North American region and the global home of the flagship Budweiser brand. About 40% of the combined company's revenue would be generated in the U.S. Anheuser-Busch would become a subsidiary of InBev.
InBev's chief executive, Carlos Brito, would be CEO of the combined company. Anheuser-Busch Chief Executive August Busch IV and one other current or former director would join the InBev directors on the new board.