Belfast Telegraph

Anheuser-Busch InBev increases takeover offer for rival SABMiller

Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev has increased its takeover offer for rival SABMiller after the sharp fall in sterling triggered by Britain's decision to quit the European Union.

Shareholders in SABMiller will now receive £45 a share, up from its earlier offer of £44, valuing SABMiller at about £79 billion.

The pound has collapsed in value versus the dollar since the June 23 vote, falling more than 10% to 1.31 US dollars.

AB InBev said the new terms were final and it will not "further increase the cash consideration or the cash element or the exchange ratio of the partial share alternative".

SABMiller said that it will " continue to consult with shareholders" and will review the revised offer.

However, SABMiller's sixth biggest shareholder hit out at the new terms, branding them "unacceptable".

Aberdeen Asset Management said: "The revised deal remains unacceptable as it both undervalues the company and continues to favour SABMiller's two major shareholders. In the absence of an improved offer we would be more than happy to remain committed long-term shareholders in SABMiller."

Concerns have also been raised by other investors, such as Elliott Management and Davidson Kempner Capital Management.

Last year, AB InBev and SABMiller agreed to the blockbuster tie-up that will create the world's biggest drinks firm.

The deal still faces several regulatory hurdles, but the firms were given the green light from the European Commission in May, on the condition that "practically the entire SABMiller beer business in Europe" is sold off.

AB InBev, the world's largest brewer, has already moved to sell SABMiller's Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands to Japanese firm Asahi. It has also signalled its intent to sell SABMiller's businesses in central and eastern Europe.