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Busch to Belgium

The maker of the King of Beers has agreed to go to work for the Belgian brewer InBev SA.

Anheuser-Busch Cos. said early Monday it had agreed to a sweetened $52 billion takeover bid from InBev, creating the world’s largest brewer and heading off what was shaping up as an acrimonious fight for the maker of Budweiser and Bud Light beers. Inbev brands include Stella Artois, Beck’s and Bass.

The combined company will be called Anheuser-Busch InBev. As of the end of last week, InBev said it would be the world’s third largest consumer products company by market capitalization after Procter & Gamble of the United States and Nestle SA of Switzerland.

The Anheuser-Busch board accepted the higher takeover offer Sunday night from Belgian-based InBev, according to a joint press release. The deal is expected to close by year-end.

“What consumers care is that their Bud will always be their Bud, and that’s what we’re committed to, not only the product, the quality, the beer … but also the heritage, the breweries, who brews the beers, and everything that’s connected to the breweries,” InBev CEO Carlos Brito said in a media conference call.