After some last-minute drama and posturing from the Foster’s bigwigs, SABMiller has finally got its hands on the Australian brewery, and with it a big footprint not only on the continent, but the Pacific as well. It’ll also serve as a nice addition to SABMiller’s expanding Asia presence. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.
On 21 September 2011, SABMiller finally convinced shareholders of the Foster’s Group brewing company to part with their shares at A$5,40 (R43,57) a pop.
In total, SABMiller will shell out R79,9 billion once the deal gains a 50% shareholder majority by number, translating into a 75% control of stock. The deal gives SABMiller at least half of Australia’s beer market, according to Bloomberg.
“The deal makes strategic and financial sense for SAB,” said Simon Hales, an analyst at Barclays Capital in London said to Bloomberg. “It’ll be taken well even though the headline offer price is slightly more than we would have hoped.”
Foster’s and SABMiller have had months of bickering over what the Australian company was worth exactly. SABMiller first tried to negotiate with the Foster’s management, who did whatever the Australian equivalent of laughing one out of the building is, and told the bidders to get lost. SABMiller then went to Defcon 3, and took the matter to the shareholders with a A$4,90 per share offer.
That too was rebuffed, before a deal was struck which gave shareholders A$5,10 per share, plus 30 cents a share as part of a previously announced capital return and a 13.25-cent final dividend. The previous offer made no mention of dividends.DM
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