The deal could take a year to complete
"It varies, and a lot of the reason why is that 'regulator' piece. Between the companies, it can go through in a few months, but if [regulators] attempt to stop [the sale], then that could slow it down" significantly, warned Gatza. The Wall Street Journal predicts that the merger -- which would be 2015's largest to date, at an estimated price of $130 billion -- could take up to a year.
Coca-Cola, Burger King, Philip Morris, and Heinz are sorta entwined in this, too
In an odd bit of globalized corporate incest, SABMiller supplements its beer business by providing bottling services for Coca-Cola in Africa. Altria, Inc., the parent company of tobacco heavyweight Philip Morris, is a minority owner of SABMiller. On the other side of the table, 3G (the Brazilian private-equity fund behind ABI), has also "orchestrated takeovers" of Heinz & Burger King in the past, according to Reuters.
This has nothing to do with the beer implications of the deal, but it does serve as a reminder that big corporations are basically all intertwined in some way. Capitalism!
Conclusion: what this means for you
Despite the massive corporate upheaval that a deal like this could bring about, the average beer drinker -- me and you -- don't have much to worry about. "There probably won't be much in the way of noticeable changes" if Molson Coors buys MillerCoors, hypothesized Gatza. Beers are heavily branded products (you know this), so it's unlikely ABI would rename all Miller's beers, change their colors, or meddle with their production recipes, he said.