AB InBev Urges SABMiller Investors to Push Board for Talks
Anheuser-Busch InBev sought to rally SABMiller's shareholders behind AB InBev’s £65.2 billion ($99.7 billion) takeover proposal, saying the price is higher than the London-based brewer is likely to achieve on its own.
SABMiller’s rejection of the plan "lacks credibility" because the price of £42.15 a share in cash that most stockholders would receive is 44 per cent above where SABMiller was trading before speculation of a deal, Belgium-based AB InBev said in a statement Thursday. Also, Altria Group Inc., SABMiller’s largest shareholder, has urged talks, AB InBev said.
"The board of SABMiller has refused to meaningfully engage with us,” AB InBev Chief Executive Officer Carlos Brito said in the statement. “If shareholders agree that we should be in proper discussions, they should voice their views and should not allow the board of SABMiller to frustrate this process and let this opportunity slip away.”
A spokesman for SABMiller declined to comment on AB InBev’s statement. SABMiller on Wednesday rejected the takeover approach, saying it “substantially undervalues” the company.
The target said Wednesday when AB InBev first publicly announced a the details of a potential bid that the potential buyer “has not yet provided comfort” to SABMiller that it can get the deal past regulatory hurdles in the US and China. AB InBev disputed that.
“Together with its advisers, AB InBev has done significant work on regulatory matters and has identified solutions that provide a clear path to closing,” the Belgian brewer said. “AB InBev has repeatedly offered to share this analysis with SABMiller and its advisers. Each time the board of SABMiller has refused to engage.”
SABMiller rose 0.2 per cent to 36.40 pence at 11:05am in London. AB InBev dropped 1.1 per cent to €97.57.
"How long will it be before shareholders see a value over £42 in the absence of an offer from AB InBev?” Brito also said.
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