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Interbrew was a large Belgium-based brewing company which owned many internationally known beers, as well as some smaller local beers. In 2004, Interbrew merged with Brazilian brewer AmBev to form InBev, which at the time became the largest brewer in the world by volume, with a 13% global market share. In 2008, InBev further merged with American brewer Anheuser-Busch to form Anheuser-Busch InBev (abbreviated AB InBev).
Some important Interbrew brands are Stella Artois, Boddingtons, Beck's, Staropramen, Bass, Leffe, Labatt and Hoegaarden. Before the merger with AmBev, Interbrew was the third largest brewing company in the world by volume, with Anheuser-Busch the largest, followed by SABMiller in second place. Heineken International was in fourth place and AmBev was the world's fifth largest brewer.
Having its roots in Leuven, Interbrew was formed in 1988 when Brouwerij Artois, the Flemish brewers of Stella Artois (already established by 1366) merged with Walloon-based brewer Piedboeuf. International expansion began when Interbrew acquired the notable Canadian brand Labatt. The transaction also included Labatt's assets, which included the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club, the Toronto Argonauts football club, and The Sports Network (the latter being immediately resold to NetStar Communications due to Canadian media ownership regulations). The latter at the time was not much smaller than Interbrew, and since then the company had been considered a multinational with both Canadian and Belgian roots.