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Heineken turns down SABMiller takeover

Heineken has rejected a takeover bid from brewer SABMiller, saying that it is “non-actionable”, after months of speculation within the industry.

Not up for transfer: Heineken  is the third largest beer producer by volume
Not up for transfer: Heineken is the third largest beer producer by volume

Heineken said it had “consulted with its majority shareholder” before rejecting the approach by the London-based brewer.

A statement released by the Dutch company said the Heineken family – which still owns just over half of the business – wanted the firm to remain as “an independent company”.

“The Heineken family and Heineken N.V.’s management are confident that the company will continue to deliver growth and shareholder value,” it said.

Heineken’s statement was prompted by a recent Bloomberg report suggesting SABMiller had approached the Dutch firm as a form of protection from being taken over by a rival big-brewer.

There has been speculation within the brewing industry for months that SABMiller has been targeted by the world’s number one brewer AB InBev.

There are also rumours that spirits giant Diageo – who also own big beer brands like Guinness, Smithwicks and Red Stripe – have been eyeing up SABMiller as a potential takeover.

Heineken is the world’s third largest beer producer behind AB Inbev and SABMiller, according to the BBC.

SABMiller’s beer brands include Miller, Grolsch and Peroni. The company also produces soft drinks, and it is one of the world’s largest bottlers of Coca-Cola drinks.

For the full financial year to March 2014, SABMiller earned $27bn (£17bn) in revenues.

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