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SABMiller investors green-light AB InBev takeover offer

Photo. Pilsner

The deal all but assures that SABMiller’s Czech brands will also be sold.

By BOHEMIST STAFF

PRAGUE – Investors of London-headquartered beer conglomerate SABMiller Plc. today approved the firm’s majority acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV in an astounding US$103 billion takeover that seals a proposed deal that had been on the table between the world’s two biggest brewers almost a year, according to a statement issued this morning by SABMiller.

The formal approval of the mega-deal all but assures that some of the Czech Republic’s most popular beers Pilsner Urquell and Gambrinus, along with the remainder of SABMiller’s Central European beer-outfit will be sold in an effort to move the deal past regulators.

The bid was okay-ed by 95.46 percent of SABMiller shareholders during a general meeting held earlier today without its two biggest investors. The vote nevertheless cleared the 75 percent needed for the takeover to proceed.

“The resolution was accordingly passed. Altria and BEVCO have irrevocably undertaken to consent to the UK Scheme and did not vote at the UK Scheme Court Meeting,” the firm said in a statement.

“At the SABMiller General Meeting, the special resolution to approve the UK Scheme and provide for its implementation was also passed by the requisite majority.”

AB InBev has been preparing to offload $6.5 billion of SAB brands in central Europe to pave the way for the deal, and several buyers from Europe and Asia have come forward. In recent weeks the Japanese brewing giant Asahi has informed AB InBev that it is willing to buy SAB’s entire beer empire in central and eastern Europe, including Pilsner Urquell.

SABMiller has meanwhile offered a complete timeline for the takeover, though not for the sale of its Central European brands.

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