Beverage Industry

Foster’s rejects bid by SABMiller

June 21, 2011
SABMiller inbody

Foster’s Group Ltd., Southbank, Australia, rejected an acquisition proposal from SABMiller plc to acquire all shares of Foster’s at a rate of $4.90 each share. The board of Foster’s announced it “believes that the proposal significantly undervalues the company in the context of a change of control and, as such, it does not intend to take any further action in relation to it.”

SABMiller plc confirmed the announcement made by Foster’s Group. The London-based company said, “The proposal to acquire Foster’s is in line with SABMiller’s strategy to create an attractive global spread of businesses, with a focus on developing strong and successful brand portfolios.”

The company announced it had sent the proposal, which values Foster’s at $11.2 billion in Australian dollars ($11.9 billion U.S.), and thinks it was attractive to Foster’s shareholders as the price represents a premium of 14.5 percent to the trading price of Foster’s at $4.28 in Australian dollars ($4.53 U.S.) as of June 2, which was the closing price prior to the most recent round of speculation of a bid for the company, SABMiller said.

“SABMiller has a proven track record of acquiring and integrating brewing companies in a way which benefits shareholders, employees, business partners and the broader community,” said Graham Mackay, SABMiller chief executive officer, in a statement. “We aim to strengthen the Foster’s brand portfolio and work with the local team to bring our innovation, global scale and expertise to the business.

“We continue to believe that the proposal price is attractive and offers good value to Foster’s shareholders,” Mackay continued. “SABMiller can conclude a transaction quickly and will continue to seek engagement with the board of Foster’s to put an agreed proposal to Foster’s shareholders.”

SABMiller highlighted Foster’s position within Australia’s growing economy as well as its position for growth in Asia. Foster’s owns seven of the Top 10 beer brands in Australia, including VB, Carlton Draught and Pure Blonde.

SABMiller previously reached an agreement with Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. to acquire its share of the Pacific Beverages Pty Ltd. joint venture should SABMiller acquire a controlling interest in Foster’s.