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Anheuser-Busch less bitter to InBev

The headquarters of Anheuser-Busch, Inc. -- St. Louis, Mo.

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: The brewing beer battle between Anheuser-Busch and Belgium's InBev may now be an opportunity to raise some glasses for a toast across the table. The New York Times reports the maker of Budweiser is now in friendly merger talks with InBev. From Berlin, Kyle James has the latest.


Kyle James: Recent relations between Anheuser-Busch and InBev have been pretty ugly. Anheuser has strongly rebuffed InBev's advances up to now and a bitter brawl has been played out in court.

But now, Anheuser is said to be interested in a deal. Warren Buffett, one of Anheuser's largest shareholders, is said to be backing it. And InBev has indicated it would raise it original offer of $65 a share.

If this deal goes ahead, it would create the world's biggest brewer, and better access to markets, according to analyst Jeremy Cunnington.

Jeremy Cunnington: They need to get the combination right of having good, strong revenue streams in markets such as Western Europe and the U.S., but also then they need to see the volume growth within the still low-margin markets of China, Russia and the Ukraine and such like.

But Anheuser could be risking a backlash, since a sale to a foreign company might not go down so smoothly with its American customer base.

In Berlin, I'm Kyle James for Marketplace.

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