SABMiller Board to Review Deal Terms Once Chinese Approval Givenby and
SABMiller Plc will wait until Chinese regulators approve Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s takeover before weighing the deal’s terms, Chairman Jan du Plessis said, as the pound’s plunge has made the $102 billion acquisition much less attractive for shareholders.
The board of the London-based brewer will meet once the transaction receives a nod from Chinese competition authorities, du Plessis said at the company’s annual meeting Thursday in London. Investors have asked SABMiller to reconsider AB InBev’s 44-pound-a-share cash bid, as an alternative cash-and-stock offer that AB InBev crafted for its two biggest stockholders has soared in value.
The pound’s decline “is one of the many things we will take into consideration,” du Plessis said, declining to provide more details. “Our judgement was that in the circumstances we received what we thought was an attractive offer.”
SABMiller’s board has unanimously recommended the offer from the maker of Budweiser beer, in what would be the industry’s biggest-ever deal. The value of the so-called partial share alternative crafted for tobacco maker Altria Group Inc. and Colombia’s Santo Domingo family has risen from about 39 pounds a share when the deal was announced to almost 50 pounds now, because AB InBev’s euro-denominated stock is more valuable in pounds. The cash proposal is fixed at 44 pounds.
The takeover received approval from U.S. regulators Wednesday and has already been cleared in Europe and South Africa, among other jurisdictions.