SABMiller Plc has rejected an improved takeover offer from bigger rival brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, saying the 68 billion pound (US$104 billion) proposal still undervalues the firm.
The company’s board has turned down the proposal as it was deemed to be unattractive, the world’s second largest brewer said.
“It still very substantially undervalues SABMiller, its unique and unmatched footprint, and its standalone prospects,” the UK-based firm said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Refusal of the offer, made public on Wednesday after earlier proposals were refused privately, opens the door to a week of intense wrangling before an Oct. 14 deadline for a formal bid set by the UK takeover panel, the report noted.
AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito said he wants a friendly deal, but did not rule out going hostile.
“I don’t want to go there now. I think there’s too much to be gained in the next few days,” Brito was quoted as saying.
AB InBev went public with its offer of 42.15 pounds in cash per SABMiller share, after the board rejected two prior approaches, at 38 and 40 pounds.
The offer includes a discounted cash-and-share alternative designed only for SAB’s two largest shareholders, Altria Group and BevCo.
Brito called the price “full” and said SAB’s board was “over-optimistic” about its standalone prospects.
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