Following several rounds of bidding, the world's two largest breweries now look set to merge. Britain's SABMiller has finally agreed to be taken over by Belgian-based Anheuser-Busch in what will be a costly transaction.
British brewing giant SABMiller announced Tuesday it had given the green light in principle for being taken over by Belgian-Brazilian Anheuser-Busch InBev.
The deal was valued at 71 billion pounds ($109 billion, 96 billion euros) and came after the fifth bidding offer.
"The boards of AB InBev and SABMiller announced they have reached agreement in principle on the key terms of a possible recommended offer," the British group said in a statement, pointing to an improved offer of 44 pounds per share, up from Monday's offer of 43.50 pounds per share.
Prior to Tuesday's announcement, Reuters had reported that the US Justice Department was probing allegations that Anheuser-Busch might have sought to curb competition in the beer market by buying distributors, making it harder for fast-growing craft brewers to get their products on store shelves.
Anti-trust regulators were also reported to be reviewing claims that AB InBev pushed some independent distributors to only carry the company's products and end their ties with the craft industry.
Insiders said investigations were in their early stages, with Anheuser-Busch noting it would work cooperatively to address any questions from regulators.
hg/cjc (Reuters, AFP)