SABMiller’s board to recommend AB InBev offer to shareholders

SABMiller’s board will recommend its shareholders accept the final offer of £45 per share made by AB InBev on Tuesday, the company said on Friday, ending a week of intrigue on the future of the beer industry’s biggest merger.

The merger, which is valued at £79bn ($104.89bn), still has to be voted on by shareholders.

“The board’s decision was difficult given changes in circumstances since the board originally recommended £44 per share in cash last November,” said SABMiller’s Chairman Jan du Plessis.

“We believe the final cash consideration of £45 per share to be at the lower end of the range of values considered recommendable.”

“In reaching its decision, SAB’s board considered the best interest of the company as a whole, taking into account all salient facts and circumstances, du Plessis said, adding that it had received extensive shareholder feedback.

The board said it would ask the UK court in charge of the process to treat its two largest shareholders, Altria and BevCo as a separate class of shareholders. Under that scenario, three-quarters of both classes would need to approve the deal for it to pass.

AB InBev said it believes the proposed combination represents a compelling opportunity for all SABMiller and AB InBev shareholders.

Meanwhile, China’s antitrust authorities earlier on Friday approved the merger of AB InBev and SABMiller, thereby, removing the last hurdle to the merger becoming a reality.

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