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AB InBev raises merger savings after weak year end

BRUSSELS Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, raised its forecast for savings from its near $100 billion takeover of SABMiller after weaker than expected earnings as beer sales suffered in Brazil.

The company, now more than double the size of nearest rival Heineken, increased its cost savings and synergy target to $2.8 billion from $2.45 billion. This includes $1.05 billion that SABMiller had previously announced before the merger.

The brewer of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, which makes more than a quarter of the world’s beer, said it had already captured $829 million of savings. The balance of about $2 billion would come in the next three to four years.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)