AB InBev makes higher bid for rival SABMiller

By Alice Foster

- Last updated on GMT

AB InBev makes formal bid to acquire SABMiller for £42.15 per share
AB InBev makes formal bid to acquire SABMiller for £42.15 per share
The world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev has made a higher bid for rival SABMiller in an attempt to create a mega-brewing giant.

The formal takeover bid came after SABMiller, the world’s number two brewer, rejected two private bids from AB InBev at £38 and £40 per share. 

SABMiller indicated that the latest cash offer at £42.15 per share still undervalues the London-listed beer group known for its Grolsch and Peroni brands. 

SABMiller chairman Jan du Plessis said: “AB InBev needs SABMiller but has made opportunistic and highly conditional proposals, elements of which have been deliberately designed to be unattractive to many of our shareholders.

‘Very substantially undervaluing’

“AB InBev is very substantially undervaluing SABMiller.”

But the Belgian-Brazilian brewer described its bid as a “compelling cash offer”​ to shareholders which would create one of the world’s leading consumer product companies.

Verdict from SABMiller

“AB InBev is very substantially undervaluing SABMiller.”

  • Jan du Plessis, chairman at SABMiller 

AB InBev chief executive officer Carlos Brito 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."​ 

The company also said it was disappointed that SABMiller’s board had rejected previous approaches without “any meaningful engagement”.

Shore Capital analyst Phil Carroll said the deal being offered includes a partial share alternative which would be available for about 41% of the SABMiller shares.  

‘Good deal for shareholders’

“We believe this represents a good deal for SAB shareholders and ultimately we expect a deal to be agreed, although the dance could continue for a while yet,” ​Carroll said.

Tobacco giant Altria Group, SABMiller’s largest shareholder, said it supported the revised proposal and urged SABMiller’s board to engage with AB InBev.

The US multinational corporation said: “Altria believes that a combination of these two companies would create significant value for all SABMiller shareholders.” 

SABMiller employs 68,000 people around the world and has a South African heritage dating back to 1886.

AB InBev has a portfolio of about 200 beer and malt beverage brands, including Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, Beck’s, Leffe and Hoegaarden. 

The company operates in North America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia Pacific with market­leading positions in the US, Brazil and Mexico.

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