SABMiller rejects $68bn beer buyout

SABMiller has turned down what it calls an “opportunistic” $68 billion takeover offer from AB Inbev, saying that it “substantially undervalues” the company.

SABMiller CEO Alan Clark. Analysts speculate his board could be holding out for a deal worth £45 per share (Photo: SABMiller)

SABMiller CEO Alan Clark. Analysts speculate his board could be holding out for a deal worth £45 per share (Photo: SABMiller)

The board of SABMiller claimed the approach by AB Inbev, which valued the company at £42.15 per share, was “timed opportunistically” to take advantage of SABMiller’s recently lowered share price.

Details of the proposal discriminated against SABMiller shareholders who may not be able to hold unlisted shares, the Peroni and Miller producer said.

The offer also failed to spell out the possible regulatory constrictions that could disrupt the deal, “especially in the US and China”, it claimed.

However, SAB Miller’s largest shareholder Altria – which controls 27% of the brewer – issued a statement this morning saying it approved of a bid price of £42.15 per share or more.

Analysts speculate that SAB Miller is holding out for an offer of £45 per share, which would amount to a deal worth around £75 billion.

It is the third offer from AB Inbev that SABMiller has turned down, with the previous two valuing the world’s second largest beer brewer at £38 and £40 per share.

Belgium-based AB Inbev offered London-based SABMiller the £68bn deal on Wednesday (7 October).

The offer was “highly attractive”, according to AB Inbev, because it valued the company 44% higher than SABMiller was worth before speculation over a deal began in September.

Carlos Brito, CEO of AB Inbev, said: “We have the highest respect for SABMiller, its employees and its leadership, and believe that a combination of our two great companies would build the first truly global beer company.”

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