BREWING firm SABMiller could step up its plans to bulk up to avoid a takeover by AB InBev by seeking other merger partners, analysts predicted yesterday.
SABMiller had made an offer for Heineken, but that deal was rejected over the weekend.
Heineken’s family owners are believed to be unwilling to relinquish their majority hold on the brewer.
Had the pair merged, the deal would have given the new entity a 21 per cent market share, equal to AB InBev and making any buyout more difficult.
As a result, analysts believe SABMiller could be looking at other deals to achieve the same result.
“A combination with Diageo would allow SABMiller to stymie AB Inbev’s interest,” said Nomura analyst Edward Mundy in a research note. “We would not rule out SABMiller considering other potential merger partners, such as Carlsberg.”
SABMiller’s shares closed up 9.82 per cent on the day.