An InBev purchase of US giant Anheuser Busch could trigger more mergers among beer producers looking to boost earnings through wider distribution, according to investors and analysts. They believe that SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Co. might try merging, while Mexico-based Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB or Turkey's largest brewer may also be potential takeover targets InBev, the maker of Stella Artois and Beck's, is considering a bid for Anheuser-Busch and an acquisition would give it one-fourth of global beer sales and more than half of the US market. InBev, the world's largest brewer by sales, runs divisions in Brazil, Europe and China. St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch is the biggest beer company in the U.S. Marcel Hooijmaijers, an analyst at Landsbanki Kepler in Amsterdam, said: “The top five brewers already control two-thirds of the world beer market. That could go up to 85 percent.'' Anheuser Busch rose 14 cents to $56.75 (£28.64) in New York stock exchange composite trading yesterday. The shares have gained 8.2% since rumours of the potential $46 billion (£23 bn) bid for the brewer surfaced on May 23. SABMiller jumped the most since July 2005 in London trading yesterday, buoyed by reports saying the brewer has held talks with InBev. InBev fell to the lowest in a year and a half yesterday in Brussels trading. The stock has been the third-worst performer in the seven-company Bloomberg Europe Beverages Index this year, dropping 16 percent. SABMiller, the second-biggest US brewer, and Molson Coors, based in both Denver and Montreal, will merge their American units in a deal the companies expect to close within weeks. The beermakers announced the MillerCoors joint venture in October after SABMiller lost market share to Anheuser-Busch. Among the world's top 10 brewers, only Anheuser and SAB are considered takeover targets, because others have shareholder structures that discourage purchases or already have alliances with beermakers, said Hooijmaijers of Landsbanki Kepler. Japan's Asahi Breweries Ltd. and Kirin Holdings Co. aren't very attractive because of declines in that market, he said. Analysts also believe that Heineken's next target might be Anadolu Efes Biracilik & Malt Sanayii AS, the largest brewer in Turkey. Heineken may also be interested in Fomento Economico, Latin America's largest beverage company and the brewer of Dos Equis beer.