SABMiller share price drops after rejecting informal megabrew offer from AB InBev worth £64bn

Madeline Ratcliffe
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SABMiller's share price dropped today following a report that the London-listed brewer had turned down an informal offer from AB InBev.

The Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev had made an initial offer of about £66.4bn ($100bn), but it was rejected as too low, Bloomberg reported this morning.

Both SABMiller and AB InBev declined to comment today.

The informal bid valued SABMiller shares at roughly £40 each, which analysts and company insiders have said is not enough. Most commentators have said SABMiller is looking for an offer of around £45 a share, which would make the 'megabrew' deal worth around £73bn, the largest this year.

SABMiller's share price was trading at £36.30 this afternoon, down 3.5 per cent since the start of the day.

The British firm first confirmed that it had been approached by its rival in September. AB InBev, the world's largest brewer, which is partly owned by Brazilian investment fund 3G, still has until 14 October to make an official offer.

The deal between the world's two largest brewers would create a company worth around £177bn.

AB InBev is thought to have approached SABMiller's major shareholders, the biggest being Altria, which owns several tobacco brands including Marlboro, and received tacit approval to drive the deal forward.

But Daniel Matjila, chief executive of SABMiller's fourth-largest shareholder The Public Investment Corporation, told Bloomberg today he was not in favour of the takeover because it would create a brewer that was too dominant.

Today SABMiller, which brews Peroni reported a nine per cent drop in reported revenues in the three-months to the end of September, hit by currency movements.

The company’s trading update was released nine days earlier than planned.

CMC market analyst Jasper Lawler said: "Management must think they can get a better deal for shareholders, explaining why shares were only off small proportion of the price rise since rumours of the merger first surfaced."

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