SOUTH AFRICA – Brewer SABMiller has extended the deadline for rival Anheuser-Busch InBev to make a formal $100bn-plus takeover offer by a further week in order to finalise shareholder support for the deal.
The two companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday that London’s Panel on Takeovers and Mergers had granted SABMiller’s request to push back the deadline to 5pm on Wednesday, November 11.
The panel has already granted a series of extensions since AB InBev and SABMiller said they had reached a preliminary agreement on a takeover on October 13.
Since then, AB InBev has completed a due diligence review of its target, reconfirmed the terms of its proposed offer and negotiated facilities to fund a takeover at short notice.
The two companies said on Wednesday that they had made good progress in agreeing terms and AB InBev had entered into the funding facilities, but still needed a further week to finalise discussions and satisfy preconditions.
Last week chief financial officer Felipe Dutra said the extension was needed for lawyers to finalise documents related to shareholder support for the deal.
AB InBev is offering £44 per SABMiller share, along with a discounted alternative mostly of shares and designed for SABMiller’s two largest shareholders, cigarette-maker Altria and BevCo, the vehicle of Colombia’s Santo Domingo family, which together own 40.5% of the target company.
The takeover — currently worth $107bn (about R1.47-trillion) — would create a brewing colossus making about a third of all beer drunk. It would be the largest takeover of a British-based company and the fourth-biggest overall in corporate history.