The world's two largest beer makers will not merge — for now. According to NPR, SABMiller, the maker of Miller Lite and Peroni, has rejected the $104 billion takeover offer from Anheuser-Busch InBev, which manufactures beers like Budweiser and Stella Artois. The offer is $4 billion higher than the rumored $100 billion informal offer AB InBev reportedly made yesterday.
SABMiller's board notes in a statement to Bloomberg that the proposal "substantially undervalues the brewer." Jan de Plessis, the company's chairman, explains the rejection of the proposal: "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." He adds that he believes the company is quite strong on its own: "SABMiller is the crown jewel of the global brewing industry, uniquely positioned to continue to generate decades of standalone future volume and value growth." However, not everyone feels that way: Tobacco giant Altria Group — which is SABMiller's largest shareholder — is urging the company's board to engage "promptly" with AB InBev, and sign a deal.
SABMiller, which is based in London, has already rejected two proposals made privately by Belgium-based AB InBev. Now, according to UK law, the Budweiser producer has until October 14 to make a final bid or it has to walk away from the deal. If AB InBev does not increase its offer, it cannot legally "renew its takeover effort for six months." Eater has reached out to AB InBev for comment.
If the two beer companies did merge, it would result in a mega conglomerate controlling 30 percent of the global beer market. The deal would have even more of an impact in America, where the newly combined company would control 75 percent of the country's beer market. Together AB InBev and SABMiller are worth over $276 billion.