AB InBev plays down talk of move beyond beer
* $100 bln purchase of SABMiller seen closing in H2 2016
* Has option plan with target of $100 bln revenue by 2022
* Speculation of next big deal outside beer
By Philip Blenkinsop
BRUSSELS, April 27 (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev , the world's largest brewer which is set to buy nearest rival SABMiller, believes future acquisitions are more likely to be in beer rather than branching out into other beverages, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
Analysts and investors are already speculating on AB InBev's next potential target -- with possibilities ranging from spirits company Diageo, unlisted French wine and beer group Castel, which has a large African presence, and Coca-Cola .
"We've always done it within beer. We don't believe in going too much outside beer. That makes the likelihood of success in integration higher," CEO Carlos Brito told the company's annual meeting.
The comments from Brito suggested that future deals were possible but that candidates were more likely to be drawn from closer to its core business.
AB InBev, which makes Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, expects to seal its $100 billion-plus acquisition of SABMiller in the second half of the year. Continuación...