How a tiny Brazilian brewery came to completely dominate the beer industry

Anheuser Busch InBev, the world’s largest beermaker, is looking to acquire rival SAB Miller.

A deal would be the year’s biggest, and combine two companies that control beer brands ranging Fosters to Corona.

AB InBev can trace its origins to a merger between a pair of Brazilian brewers in 1999. It has grown to more than $US47 billion in annual sales after a string of takeovers.

Those deals now total nearly $US115 billion in value, according to data from Dealogic. The biggest was InBev SA’s $US60 billion takeover of Budweiser-maker Anheuser Busch in 2011.

Even the smaller SAB is a product of a series of deals, starting with the combination that gave the company its name, a 2002 deal to merge South African Breweries and Miller Brewing.

If they do reach a deal, it would combine two companies that controlled about 58% of the industry’s $US33 billion in global profits, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts. That could lead regulators to push them to sell off some of the brands they acquired over the years.

Here’s a run through of the biggest deals that created both companies.

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