SABMiller was rebuffed in an attempt to buy smaller brewer Heineken, a deal that would have strengthened it against a potential bid by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, according to reports.
Heineken, the brewer of Amstel Light, confirmed in a statement that it turned down the offer and said it intends to remain independent. SABMiller’s preliminary approach was rejected by the family that controls Heineken, Bloomberg News reported yesterday, citing people who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The offer, made in the last two weeks, would have made the family one of the combined company’s largest holders, one of the people said.
Shares of Heineken rose as much as 4.3 per cent to €61.98 in Amsterdam, the highest since December 1998. Heineken family members are resistant to any sale because they want to keep control of the €35 billion ($45 billion) brewer, the people said. SABMiller, long the subject of speculation regarding a takeover by AB InBev, is assessing its next move, the person added, and it’s not clear if it will approach the family again. SAB shares gained 6.2 per cent to 3,617 pence at 8:05 a.m. in London, the most in nearly two years.
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