The world's biggest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev and its nearest rival SABMiller have extended for a second time a deadline to agree a formal takeover deal, the companies said today. 

An original deadline of October 28, already extended to today, has been pushed out further by another week to November 11, a statement from British group SABMiller said. 

The pair last month agreed in principle on a €108 billion deal that would see Belgian-Brazilian behemoth AB InBev swallow its rival. 

The takeover is aimed at firming up the giants as they face new competition, while helping them to better target growth in Africa and China and serve one in three beers globally. 

After SABMiller had turned down a series of informal bids, claiming they were too low, the maker of Foster's, Miller Genuine Draft and Peroni finally agreed to be bought by the group behind top lager brands like Beck's, Budweiser and Stella Artois. 

However with no formal offer yet made, neither can properly toast the deal.

SABMiller said the new extension would allow the pair "to finalise their discussions and satisfy the pre-conditions to the announcement of a formal transaction". 

The deal between the two would be the third biggest takeover in history. 

The outline offer also comes at a time of growing pressure for rapid consolidation in the brewing industry, which is faced with the increased popularity of so-called craft beers that are brewed by smaller independent firms.