SABMiller ‘refusing to engage’ with AB Inbev

Beer giant SABMiller is “refusing to meaningfully engage” with AB Inbev over negotiations surrounding its possible takeover, claims AB’s CEO Carlos Brito.

AB Inbev CEO Carlos Brito is calling the deal a chance to make "the world's first truly global beer company" (Photo: ABInbev)

AB Inbev CEO Carlos Brito is calling the deal a chance to make “the world’s first truly global beer company” (Photo: ABInbev)

His comments come the day after his company offered SABMiller’s board £42.15 per share for the company – a deal worth £68 billion. SAB Miller turned down the offer on Wednesday afternoon (7 October), claiming it substantially undervalued” the company.

AB Inbev, the world’s largest brewer and producer of global brands like Budweiser and Stella Artois, claims the offer “represents a premium of approximately 44% to SABMiller’s closing share price of £29.34 on 14th September 2015” – the last trading day before the companies confirmed a takeover approach had been made.

Furthermore, SABMiller’s largest shareholder, Altria Group, yesterday advised the rest of the company’s board to accept AB Inbev’s offer – the third after offers of £38 and £40 per share were rejected by SABMiller.

“Altria Group, which owns 27% of SABMiller and has three representatives on the board, has publicly stated that it supports our proposal”, AB Inbev said.

Carlos Brito, CEO of AB Inbev, said, “notwithstanding our good faith efforts, the board of SABMiller has refused to meaningfully engage with us. Our proposal creates significant value for everybody.”

Calling on SABMiller’s shareholders to put pressure on its board, he continued, “How long will it be before shareholders see a value of over £42 in the absence of an offer from AB InBev? If shareholders agree that we should be in proper discussions, they should voice their views and should not allow the Board of SABMiller to frustrate this process and let this opportunity slip away.”

Analysts speculate that SABMiller is holding out for an offer of around £45 per share, which mean a deal worth roughly £75 billion.

The resulting company would generate revenues of US$64 billion (£42bn) per year, and earnings before tax and deductions of $24bn (£15.7bn), according to AB Inbev, making it one of the largest consumer product companies in the world.

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