Warren Buffet, the world’s richest man, is pushing for a £50m merger between InBev and Anheuser-Busch, in which he holds a 5% stake. His considerable political and diplomatic sway will be crucial as Buffet is reported to be unhappy at the way his investment has been performing. Taking over Anheuser-Busch would give InBev control of about a quarter of the world’s beer market. InBev is expected to launch a £5bn-plus rights issue next year and director Luiz Fernando Edmond, who runs its Latin American arm AmBev, has admitted the brewer is on the acquisition trail. The Sunday Telegraph says that InBev is undertaking a wide-ranging review which could lead to disposals of its international brands to fund a bid for Anheuser-Busch. Bankers have been drawing up plans for a $50bn financing package and the board will meet this week to decide whether to press ahead. According to The Sunday Times, Anheuser-Busch may try to fend off any bid by buying the 50% of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, maker of Corona, which it does not already own. That would cost between $10bn and $15bn and could make Anheuser too expensive for InBev to afford. InBev could also face political opposition to any deal that puts the 150-year-old American brand into foreign hands. The Mail on Sunday 25/05/08 page 52 (Financial Mail) The Observer 25/05/08 (Business) page 3