An analyst has said that PepsiCo's beverage unit may be a more realistic target for Anheuser-Busch InBev than The Coca-Cola Co, as the brewer is expected to look outside of beer for its next acquisition.
Last year, analysts suggested AB InBev's move for SABMiller could allow the brewer to try on the role of a Coca-Cola bottler ahead of making a move for the soft drinks company. However, in a note last week, SIG analyst Pablo Zuanic said that PepsiCo "may be a better and more realistic fit" for AB InBev than Coca-Cola Co.
"Conventional wisdom, rightly or wrongly, has it that after digesting SABMiller, AB InBev will make a move for Coca-Cola as it expands beyond beer," said Zuanic. "In terms of bringing scale to its beer distributors we note Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are similar in size in the US (in terms of end unit cases of NARTDs), but more importantly the PepsiCo drinks business is 75% PepsiCo-owned while by the end of 2017, Coke's US operating business (bottling and distribution) will all be in the hands of independent bottlers," he said, referring to the company's on-going refranchising programme.