The road to the world’s largest beer merger just jumped two crucial hurdles. In an announcement this week, AB InBev offered a larger sum per share to SABMiller investors as part of its deal to acquire the rival brewing giant. According to USA Today, the increase from approximately $58 per share to $60 per share came after investors raised concerns that the post-Brexit pound was falling in value and impacting the agreed price. SABMiller’s board says it will recommend that its shareholders accept AB InBev’s improved offer.
Meanwhile, the merger is racking up approvals from international regulators. The New York Times reports that Chinese regulators gave AB InBev their blessing to join forces with SABMiller. The approval came after AB InBev agreed to sell off SABMiller’s 49 percent stake in Snow, the world’s number-one selling beer by volume, to China’s government-run brewer, China Resources Beer Holdings Co. The stake was sold for a whopping $1.6 billion, but was still less than expected suggesting the company is willing to push through its $105 billion mega-merger by any means necessary. China Resources Beer Holdings Co. is now the sole owner of Snow.
China is the latest country to approve the marriage of the world’s two biggest beer producers. More than 21 jurisdictions around the world have given it the thumbs up. The United States Justice Department approved the merger on July 20, contingent upon AB InBev’s agreement to sell off SABMiller’s stake in MillerCoors to Molsen Coors Brewing Co.
Once the merger is finalized, the two companies will together control 30 percent of the world beer market. The deal will give AB InBev a leg up in Latin America and Africa, where SABMiller holds a major market share.
• SABMiller Board Likes AB InBev's Sweetened Offer [USA Today]