SABMiller in $7bn funding

GLOBAL brewer SABMiller yesterday said it had issued and successfully priced a $7bn (£4.5bn) bond, with the proceeds used to repay part of the bank borrowing taken on for the purchase of Australian brewer Foster’s late last year.

The FTSE 100-listed brewer of Miller Lite, Peroni and Grolsch beer finalised the cash takeover of Foster’s for A$11.5bn, including debt, in December 2011 to give it around a half share of the Australian beer market.

SABMiller sold bonds split into three, five, 10 and 30-year maturities. It was the largest bond sale in the US since March 2011, when Sanofi-Aventis sold $7bn, according to figures from Dealogic

Chief financial officer Jamie Wilson said: “We were very pleased by the high level of demand from bond investors in response to this offering, and the pricing achieved, which we believe is a reflection of the strengths of the SABMiller Group and our attractive profile of brands and businesses.”

SABMiller’s initial moves for Foster’s were rebuffed by the board. Last month an Australian court approved the takeover after the board negotiated a higher price for the company.

The deal does not include the Foster’s lager brand in the UK and Europe, where it is owned by Heineken.