Anheuser-Busch InBev is apparently not giving up on its bid for SABMiller. On Wednesday, the world’s largest brewer sweetened its bid for SABMiller, offering a little more than 68 billion pounds ($104 billion) for the No. 2 firm in the industry.
A statement from ABInBev noted it was now willing pay 42.15 pounds in cash per SABMiller share. Of note, the beverage firm has already made two earlier offers for its biggest rival.
The beer giant commented that the offer would be attractive to SABMiller shareholders, and stating the obvious that it was “disappointed” the UK-based SABMiller board had rejected both prior offers.
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In trading in Europe, shares in SABMiller were up around 2.6% on news of the sweetened offer, while AB InBev shares powered their way to a 2.8% gain.
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Sector analysts note that the cash offer represents a premium of close to 44% to SABMiller’s closing share price of £29.34 on September 14th. The statement from the from claimed it anticipated that most SABMiller shareholders would accept the higher cash offer. Importantly, Altria, which is SABMiller’s biggest shareholder with a 27% stake in the firm, has publicly stated that it supported the revised proposal.
SABMiller also released a statement on Wednesday saying that its board would meet in the bear future to analyze the revised offer.
“This is a pretty good deal for SAB shareholders. It’s a rich premium from the close-end stock price before the deal was rumored,” Philip Gorham, senior equity analyst at Morningstar, noted in an interview with CNBC. “It represents great value for SAB shareholders and I think it’s about as high as AB InBev can go.”
Andrew Holland, European and US beverage research analyst at Societe Generale, said that the offer might be boosted as high as £44 per share. He anticipated that shareholders would support further negotiations to close a deal. “I think we’re getting very much closer to the endgame,” he said.