Beverage giant Anheuser-Busch InBev’s €92 billion takeover of rival SABMiller is expected to go ahead on 10 October after shareholders of both companies backed the deal. It remains to be seen what impact the merger will have on SABMiller’s commitment to natural refrigerants.
The deal – which will create the world’s largest beer firm – was agreed last year, but in July ABInBev was compelled to raise its offer following a fall in the value of sterling after the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union. Its new offer was £45 per share, an increase of £1 on the previously agreed value.
AB InBev produces such household names as Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and Beck’s, while SABMiller produces the likes of Foster’s, Peroni, Pilsener Urquell and Grolsch.
To satisfy regulators, AB InBev agreed to sell SABMiller's Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands to Japanese rival Asahi.
SABMiller is making natural refrigerants a key component of its sustainability strategy – and demonstrating how natrefs are a winning recipe for corporate success as well as the environment. The company is committed to using natural refrigerants in 100% of new fridges procured by 2020.
The brewing giant owns some 900,000 fridges, making the strategic decision by such a large multinational company to adopt natural refrigerants a landmark moment. The annual purchase rate of new fridges across the markets in which SABMiller is active is around 10,000. Procurement on such a massive scale plays a vitally important role in growing the market for natural refrigerant technology worldwide.
With refrigeration representing between 18-20% of the company’s carbon footprint, natural refrigerants are playing a central role in helping to deliver on the firm’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 25% across its whole value chain by 2020 (compared to 2010 levels).
Speaking in March, André Fourie, head of water security and environmental value at SABMiller plc., stressed that the firm would be keen to promote the lessons learned from all its environmental initiatives to new owners AB InBev.
For its part, AB InBev will hope the takeover boosts sales in Africa and China, where a SABMiller joint venture produces Snow, the world's best selling beer by volume.
The new firm will produce almost a third of the world’s beer.