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AB InBev buys SABMiller for $104bn in record deal

| Supplier news

Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev has agreed to buy SABMiller for £68bn, raising its bid to clinch a record industry deal that brings one out of every three beers sold worldwide under a single company.

The Budweiser maker offered 4 400 pence a share in cash for a majority of the shares in its nearest competitor, gaining brands such as Peroni and Grolsch, and giving it control of about half the industry’s profit. The price is 46% above SABMiller’s closing value on September 15, the day before the companies disclosed they were in contact about a potential bid.

After years of speculation, the deal has been hastened by the impact of slowing economies in the emerging markets of China and Brazil. A 20% drop in SABMiller shares in the months preceding AB InBev’s approach and the prospect of an end to cheap credit also served as a catalyst to a takeover.

The agreement, which is tentative, caps more than two weeks of back- and-forth negotiations over the price. SABMiller said its board is prepared to recommend it.

SABMiller shares fell 1.3% to 3 621.50 pence in London on Monday, and was trading on the JSE at R732.00. AB InBev was little changed at €98.35 in Brussels.

SABMiller spurned previous proposals, including one AB InBev made public on October 7 that valued the company at about £65.2bn.

SABMiller’s two largest shareholders, Altria Group and Bevco, can receive cash and stock valued at £39.03 a share for their stakes, which account for 41% of the company.

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