Foster’s takes new swipe at SABMiller bid

FOSTER’S chairman David Crawford has written to shareholders asking them to brush off SABMiller’s $11bn (£6.2bn) takeover bid.

Crawford urges them to stick with current management while promising that the benefits of a demerger of the company’s wine business are yet to be seen.

The board has consistently claimed that SABMiller’s bid undervalues the business.

Crawford claimed there was significant value in Foster’s remaining independent. The letter comes as the Anglo-South African brewer prepares to dispatch its bidders statement to Foster’s shareholders, where the company will argue the case for investors to accept its hostile $4.90 per share offer.

‘‘Your board unanimously recommends you reject SABMiller’s offer.... Your board believes the offer significantly undervalues your company. The offer is also highly conditional and subject to significant uncertainty,” Foster’s said. The company has consistently dismissed the bid since it first disclose the approach on 21 June.

SABMiller, which makes Peroni and Grolsch, announced plans to take its offer directly to shareholders on 17 August after the board refused to enter negotiations.

Foster’s has said it is open to talks on a “sensible” bid from SABMiller. without being more specific.