AB InBev & SABMiller set Oct 10 deadline to complete merger

AB InBev and SABMiller have set out a timeline for the completion of the “Megabrew” merger. The merger is expected to be finalized on October 10, the companies said in a statement today.

SABMiller’s board recommended the new offer made by AB InBev last week to its shareholders.

One contentious step that will take place in the process is an August 22 court hearing in Britain to determine a proposal made by SABMiller that its shareholders be split into two classes, with each class needing to approve the terms.

AB InBev had made two variations of its offer: The first is a £45 per share offer for the majority of shareholders and the second is a cash-and-share alternative meant for the company’s two largest shareholders, U.S. tobacco firm Altria and BevCo, the investment arm of the Santo Domingo family of Columbia. The combined shareholders control 41% of SABMiller’s shares.

The partial share alternative offer (combined cash-and-share) has become controversial because it is now worth more than the cash offer since Britain voted to leave the European Union; the pound sterling has lost its value against the euro and dollar.

Splitting the vote would mean the transaction would need the support from 85% of the shareholders instead of 75% needed in a unified vote.

In addition, AB InBev and SABMiller will both hold their shareholder’s meetings on September 28.

The transaction is expected to close on October 10, a trading of the unified companies will begin on October 11.

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