SABMiller on Wednesday rejected Anheuser-Busch InBev’s latest takeover proposal, a $104 billion offer that would create a global giant controlling nearly a third of the world’s beer sales.
SABMiller said the offer undervalued the company.
It was the third recent offer by A-B InBev to SABMiller’s board, and the third rejected. Two proposals were made privately in mid-September, and A-B InBev made the third publicly on Wednesday, showing it is determined to complete a deal.
Belgium-based A-B InBev’s latest cash offer is 42.15 pounds, or $64.35, per SABMiller share — higher than its prior private bids of 38 and 40 pounds. The latest offer is 44 percent higher than SABMiller’s mid-September closing price on the day before speculation emerged about a deal.
The latest $104 billion offer “very substantially” undervalues the No. 2 global brewer, SABMiller’s chairman Jan du Plessis said in a statement.
“SABMiller is the crown jewel of the global brewing industry, uniquely positioned to continue to generate decades of stand-alone future volume and value growth for all SABMiller shareholders from highly attractive markets,” 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.”
A-B InBev CEO Carlos Brito said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday that he was disappointed the UK-based company’s board rejected its bid to make the world’s “first truly global beer company.”
A-B InBev decided to take its latest proposal public to inform SABMiller’s shareholders of the deal after SABMiller’s board would not engage in meaningful negotiations, Brito said in the call.
“Now the true owners of the company, the shareholders of SABMiller, will have the opportunity to think and look at the offer,” he said.
A-B InBev listed details of the proposal at www.globalbrewer.com.
“Shareholders should pressure the board and call the chairman,” Brito said in the call.
A-B InBev called its latest bid a proposal and not an announcement of a firm intention to make an offer. UK’s takeover rules require A-B InBev to reveal its intentions by Oct. 14.