Melbourne: Global brewer SABMiller went hostile with its $10 billion bid for Australia’s Foster’s Group, going direct to shareholders on Wednesday at a discount to Foster’s last trade.
A deal would join together the brewer of Miller Lite, Peroni and Grolsch with the Melbourne-based maker of Victoria Bitter, Pure Blonde and Cascade beer, and would be the biggest deal since InBev paid $52 billion to buy Anheuser-Busch to form AB InBev in the world’s biggest cash takeover in 2008.
Foster’s rejected SABMiller’s offer at A$4.90 a share in June, and its chief executive John Pollaers said the offer was so low it was not worth discussing.
He recently came under fire from some shareholders for failing to engage with SABMiller. “As there has been no willingness to engage in relation to SABMiller’s proposal on the part of the Foster’s board, SABMiller has decided to make an offer to Foster’s shareholders directly,” SAB said.
When SABMiller launched its bid for Foster’s, analysts said the London-based brewer may have to pay up to A$5.20-A$5.40 to succeed, but now some believe A$4.90-A$5.10 will win the day, according to a Reuters poll.