Brewing giant ABInBev has gone public with a £68 billion ($US103.9 billion) takeover offer for London-listed rival SABMiller, revealing it’s already had two bids knocked back by management.
ABInBev set out details of its £42.15 ($US64.30) per share offer in a statement on Wednesday. The latest offer values SABMiller at £68.14 billion ($US103.9 billion) and ABInBev says the SAB board has already rejected offers at £38 ($US57.96) per share and £40 ($US61) per share. SAB shares closed at £37.28 ($US56.86) in London on Tuesday.
US company ABInBev is the world’s largest beer maker, responsible for brands like Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois, while SABMiller is the second largest brewer in the world and makes beers like Fosters and Grolsch.
ABInBev says it is “disappointed” that SAB dismissed these two earlier offers “without any meaningful engagement.” SAB shares dropped on Tuesday amid rumours that management were planning to fight any takeover offer.
ABInBev may well have gone public with this latest offer to try and drum up some shareholder pressure on SABMiller to at least engage in deal talks.
News of ABInBev’s courtship of SAB first broke in mid-September, but this is the first concrete deal announcement we’ve had from ABInBev.
ABInBev CEO Carlos Brito says in a statement:
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.
Both companies have deep roots in some of the most historic beer cultures around the world and share a strong passion for brewing as well as a deep seated tradition of quality. By bringing together our rich heritage, brands and people we would provide more opportunities for consumers to taste and enjoy the world’s best beers.
ABInBev argues in its offer document that a merger would “generate significant growth opportunities from marketing the companies’ combined brand portfolio through a largely complementary distribution network.”
SABMiller has yet to respond and we’ll update when it does.