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LONDON (Reuters) - The level of announced mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for the year has reached an all-time high, helped by Anheuser-Busch InBev's (ABI.BR) record $100 billion offer for London-listed brewer SABMiller SAB.L, Thomson Reuters data showed on Friday.
Global announced M&A reached a total value of $3.38 trillion so far during 2015, a 35 percent increase compared to this time last year, and the strongest year-to-date period since records began in 1980.
If it goes ahead, the merger between the rival beer makers would not only be the largest acquisition in the consumer sector on record, but also the second largest purchase in Europe and the fourth largest globally. On Wednesday AB InBev made public a string of offers it had made for its UK-rival.
The title for the largest deal in history still belongs to Vodafone's (VOD.L) acquisition of Mannesmann AG in 1999 for $202.8 billion.
This year has set a number of other milestones for dealmaking. Oil major Shell's (RDSa.L) acquisition of British rival BG Group BG.L for $70 billion, announced in April, is the largest deal in the energy sector in over a decade, while Warren Buffett's $37.2 billion purchase of Precision Castparts PCP.N in August is the biggest by the U.S. investor's fund, Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N).
But it is still to be seen whether AB Inbev will bring SAB to a deal, while Shell's takeover of BG has been roiled by regulatory fears and a weak oil price that could still derail the transaction.
Reporting by Emiliano Mellino; editing by Adrian Croft