SABMiller Said to Seek More Time for AB InBev's Formal Bid

Updated on
  • Brewers want to shore up shareholder support and financing
  • U.K. takeover panel deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday in London

SABMiller Miller Lite brand beer at a warehouse in Peoria, Illinois.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

SABMiller Plc plans to ask U.K. regulators to again extend a deadline for Anheuser-Busch InBev NV to make a formal takeover offer as both sides want more time to shore up shareholder support and financing, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

SABMiller intends to request that London’s Panel on Takeovers and Mergers push back the 5 p.m. Wednesday deadline, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. While talks are progressing, the companies would like more time to canvass shareholders and complete the loan package and legal documentation, two of the people said.

The Takeover Panel already granted a two-week extension from the original Oct. 14 deadline. AB InBev and SABMiller are seeking at least one more week, one of the people said. If another delay is given, London-based SABMiller must “promptly” announce the new deadline and comment on the status of negotiations, according to U.K. takeover rules. No final decision has been made and there’s no certainty that the brewer will seek more time.

Representatives for SABMiller and AB InBev declined to comment. The Takeover Panel didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Any delay would extend a process that began six weeks ago, when SABMiller said it was open to discussing an offer. The companies reached a tentative agreement earlier this month after weeks of haggling over the price. The proposed $106 billion takeover will give AB InBev brands such as Peroni and Grolsch and create a company controlling about half of the industry’s profit. The Belgian suitor must pay a fee of $3 billion if it fails to get the necessary approvals.

SABMiller shares fell 0.7 percent to 3,916 pence in London.