Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller today said they have agreed the terms of a £68 billion takeover deal to create the world’s biggest drinks firm.
Under the terms, Budweiser owner AB InBev would pay SABMiller shareholders £44 in cash for each share they hold in the maker of Peroni and Grolsch, in what would mark the largest takeover of a British firm in corporate history.
The all-cash offer represents a premium of about 50 per cent to SABMiller’s closing share price of £29.34 on 14 September.
In a joint statement, the brewing giants said: “The board of SABMiller has indicated to AB InBev that it would be prepared unanimously to recommend the all-cash offer of £44 per SABMiller share to SABMiller shareholders, subject to their fiduciary duties and satisfactory resolution of the other terms and conditions of the possible offer.”
However, they added: “The announcement does not constitute an offer or impose any obligation on AB InBev to make an offer, nor does it evidence a firm intention to make an offer within the meaning of the [Takeover Code]. There can be no certainty that a formal offer will be made.”
The SABMiller board previously turned down £42.15 a share, and two other earlier offers for the firm, saying they all substantially undervalued the business.
A tie-up between the two would create a global beer giant worth more than £180bn. AB InBev is the world’s biggest beer business, while SABMiller is the global number two.
AB InBev and SABMiller still have to agree the terms of a formal offer, but have extended the deadline to make a firm bid under City takeover rules until 28 October.