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Budweiser brewer in takeover talks after bid rejected

By Roger Baird

Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev has urged SABMiller shareholders to force its board into serious takeover talks, after the rival brewer rejected its sweetened £68bn bid.

AB InBev said in a statement yesterday it was "surprised" that the Peroni and Grolsch firm continues to say that this proposal still substantially undervalues the business.

It added that this claim "lacks credibility" because its improved offer of £42.15 a share represents a premium of around 44% to SABMiller's undisturbed closing share price.

AB InBev also pointed out that SABMiller's largest shareholder Altria Group, which owns 27% of the brewer and has three seats on its board, backs the bid that was rejected this week.

The Belgium-based brewer also attacks claims by SABMiller that it has not done enough work to clear regulatory hurdles in the way of the deal, particularly in China and the US.

AB InBev said: "Together with its advisers, AB InBev has done significant work on regulatory matters and has identified solutions that provide a clear path to closing."

Carlos Brito, chief executive of AB InBev, said: "Notwithstanding our good faith efforts, the board of SABMiller has refused to meaningfully engage with us.

"Our proposal creates significant value for everybody."

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