Anheuser-Busch InBev has increased its offer for London-based SABMiller to £43.50 a share, a 48 per cent premium.
In a statement today, the company confirmed it has offered £43.50 a share in cash, with a partial share alternative (offering AB InBev shares instead along with £3.56 cash per share) for approximately 41 per cent of SABMiller, which is designed to reduce the tax bill for majority share-holder US tobacco company Altria and BevCo, which is owned by the Columbian Santo Domingo family.
The new improved price represents a 48 per cent premium on SABMiller's shares the day before the AB InBev's interest was made public. SAB Miller's shares were trading at £36.99 in mid-afternoon trading, having jumped to £37.50 on the announcement.
The deal values the company, which brews Peroni, at £67.4bn.
This is fourth offer from the Belgain brewer, which owns the Budweiser brand, after SABMiller last week rejected its offer of £42.15 a share, with SABMiller chairman Jan du Plessis saying AB InBev had “very substantially undervalued” the company, and the offer was “deliberately designed to be unattractive to many of our shareholders”.
Altria, the largest shareholder in SABMiller with a 27 per cent stake, said last week saying it was in favour of an offer of £42.15 a share or more and urged the rest of the board to engage.
Aberdeen Asset Management and South African Public Investment Corporation, the next largest shareholders, have both said they are holding out for a higher offer from SAB's larger rival. Analysts have suggested they may not settle for anything less than £45 per share.
But it is the Columbian Santo Domingo family, which owns 14 per cent of the brewer through its company BevCo, which AB InBev really needs to win over.
The deadline for a formal offer to be made is 5pm on Wednesday. AB InBev and SAB Miller declined to comment.