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Business

Brewer AB InBev raises bid for rival SABMiller

Belgian-Brazilian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev has increased its takeover offer for British rival SABMiller. A deal between the two beer giants would create a dominant global player in the brewing industry.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) raised its offer on Wednesday to buy the world's No. 2 brewer SABMiller to 42.15 pounds (57.17 euros, $64.27) per share in cash.

AB InBev said the revised proposal should be highly attractive to SABMiller shareholders and provided an extremely compelling opportunity for them.

The revised bid came after SABMiller had rejected AB InBev's previous takeover offer, which was worth just over 54 euros per share, valuing the company at around 65 billion pounds (88.26 billion euros, $98.6 billion).

But SABMiller shareholders wanted closer to 62 euros a share, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

InBev said in a statement that it was disappointed that SABMiller had rejected its two previous lower-priced offers "without any meaningful engagement."

A dominant player?

If InBev succeeds in acquiring the British brewer, it would bring together InBev's Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois beers with SABMiller's Foster's, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell.

InBev said the combined group would generate revenues of $64 billion.

A merged group would have a combined market value of around $270 billion, based on current prices. It would combine AB InBev's dominance of Latin America with SABMiller's strong presence in Africa, both fast-growing markets, as well as strengthen their position in Asia.

"The combination of AB InBev and SABMiller would result in a truly global brewer that would take its place as one of the world's leading consumer products companies," InBev said.

Reacting to the revised bid, SABMiller said its board will consider the new offer.

"The board will, of course, meet formally to consider the 42.15 pounds (per share) proposal as soon as practicable and a further announcement will be made thereafter," it said in a statement.

sri/uhe (Reuters, AFP)

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