The newly formed group, Anheuser-Busch InBev, will be one of the world’s five largest consumer products companies and the global leader in the beer industry.

The transaction will purportedly create synergies of at least US$1.5bn annually by 2011. On a pro-forma basis for 2007, the combined company would have generated global drinks volumes of 460m hectolitres, revenues of $36.4bn and EBITDA of $10.7bn.

Both companies’ boards of directors have unanimously approved the transaction, and InBev has fully committed financing for the purchase of all of Anheuser-Busch’s outstanding shares.

For weeks, analysts have speculated that should the deal go ahead InBev would sell off A-B’s packaging subsidiaries and its entertainment division.

"While it’s too early in this process for InBev to have made decisions about all aspects of A-B’s operations, InBev understands the theme parks’ contributions to the areas where they operate and will try to help preserve that role," spokeswoman Marianne Amssoms said.