SABMiller announced this morning that it has agreed, 'in principle', AB InBev's fifth takeover offer, at £44 a share. Previous offers, all refused, started at £38.
This possible offer values SABMiller at about £71bn, with a part-share alternative that would value the company at £68bn.
The offer also includes AB InBev committing to making 'best efforts' to secure regulatory clearance for the deal to go through. If it was to be rejected by regulatory bodies or by SABMiller shareholders, AB InBev would pay SABMiller a break fee of $3m (approximatively £1.95m).
AB InBev's bid of £44 per share places the value of SABMiller shares about 50% higher than their actual value mid-September, before the takeover proposals started. AB InBev originally had until tomorrow to submit a formal proposal, but an extension has been granted by the takeover panel to allow the details of this possible takeover to be figured out.
The announcement doesn't guarantee an offer will eventually be made, but if combined, AB InBev, which owns Stella Artois, Budweiser and Becks, and SABMiller, owner of Coors, Grolsch and Peroni, would dominate the global beer market.