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"Beer behemoth" merger could happen

CBS News financial contributor Mellody Hobson discusses the potential deal with the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts
Mega-merger brewing: Is it Miller time for Anheuser-Busch? 02:15

A mega-deal could be brewing between two of the world's largest beer makers.

On Sunday, the world's third largest brewer, Heineken, refused a takeover bid from SABMiller. But now the Wall Street Journal says Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's biggest beer company, is thinking of buying Miller.

The deal could be worth as much as $122 billion.

"Were talking about a beer behemoth if it were to happen," said CBS News financial contributor Mellody Hobson.

If the deal went through, the resulting company would have 350 brands of beer, a 30 percent global market share and have a market cap at an excess of $230 billion, according to Hobson.

"That's a big if," she said. "I talked to someone at SABMiller and they made it clear, they haven't been approached yet. If it were to happen it would be a very big deal."

Hobson says Anheuser-Busch would benefit by gaining influence in emerging markets.

"Geographic footprints are very, very different for these two companies," Hobson said. "So AB InBev dominates in the developed markets, specifically the United States, Europe. Meanwhile SABMiller dominates in the emerging markets. Anheiser-Bush InBev wants some of that, because the growth in the developed markets has been slowing, so they're trying to chase the growth in the emerging markets."

According to Hobson, SABMiller first went for the number three player to be able to rebuff AB InBev when they approached them. But Heineken refused, issuing the following statement: "The Heineken family has informed SABMiller...of its intention to preserve the Heineken heritage and identity of Heineken to remain an independent company."

"They made it clear they are not for sale," Hobson said.

As far as anti-trust issues go, Hobson said they're "complex, but not insurmountable. They would actually probably have to divest a couple big brands if it were to go through. Some speculate it would be Miller Coors in the United States, and a big brand in China. This company would have 65 percent market share in the U.S. alone."

As far as affecting the price of your favorite cold one, "probably not," Hobson said. "But you would have access to a lot more brands."

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