AB InBev has slammed SABMiller for its rejection of its enhanced £65 billion offer to buy the business.
The news comes after the latest proposals by AB InBev were unanimously rejected by SABMiller’s full board, who said the brewing giant had 'substantially undervalued' it.
AB InBev yesterday offered an enhanced purchase price of £42.15 per share after two previous offers of £38 and £40 were rejected. However Altria Group – one of the two biggest shareholders in SABMiller, who alongside BevCo own 40% of shares – supports the deal.
Jan du Plessis, chairman of SABMiller, said: 'SABMiller is the crown jewel of the global brewing industry, uniquely positioned to continue to generate decades of standalone future volume and value growth for all SABMiller shareholders from highly attractive markets. AB InBev needs SABMiller but has made opportunistic and highly conditional proposals, elements of which have been deliberately designed to be unattractive to many of our shareholders. AB InBev is very substantially undervaluing SABMiller.'
AB InBev has appeared to react angrily to the rejection. Chief executive Carlos Brito today issued a statement saying: 'How long will it be before shareholders see a value of over £42 in the absence of an offer from AB InBev? If shareholders agree that we should be in proper discussions, they should voice their views and should not allow the board of SABMiller to frustrate this process and let this opportunity slip away.'
A spokesman for SABMiller said: 'We've noted their announcement, it contains nothing new, there's nothing to respond to.'
Combined, AB InBev, which owns Stella Artois, Budweiser and Becks, and SABMiller, owner of Coors, Grolsch and Peroni, would dominate the global brewing industry. They are already the world’s largest two brewers in their own right.