One Company's Bottleneck Is Another's Opening


Jim Jubak Image Jim Jubak Founder and Editor,

The noose got a little tighter around Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo (OTC: GPMCY), Mexico’s largest beer maker.

On July 12, the company lost in arbitration with Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD), the world’s biggest brewer. Grupo Modelo had sought to void the transfer to BUD of the 50% stake of Modelo that Anheuser owned before the merger with InBev that created the beer giant.

The ruling clears the way for BUD to eventually acquire the rest of Grupo Modelo.

Companhia de Bebidas das Americas (AmBev) (NYSE: ABV), the Brazilian brewer and Pepsi distributor that’s controlled by BUD, isn’t a direct party to any of this arbitration or negotiation. But I think this outcome works in AmBev’s favor.

First, Ambev doesn’t have much of a presence in Mexico and a deal that gave Anheuser control of Grupo Modelo’s breweries and distribution network could help Ambev—the largest beer company in Latin America—expand brands like Brahma into Mexico.

That would be even more advantageous to AmBev if Anheuser also wound up signing a distribution deal with the Oxxo convenience-store chain after 2020.