Anheuser-Busch InBev has raised its takeover offer for SABMiller for a third time, as the world's largest brewer tries to win over its smaller rival to create a giant that would make a third of the world's beer. But as Ivor Bennett reports, the offer may still not be enough.
It's proving to be thirsty work for Anheuser Busch InBev. The makers of Budweiser have already made three offers for rival SAB Miller. And the latest, at 43 pounds 50 pence a share, may still not be enough, says BGC Partners' Mike Ingram. SOUNDBITE (English) MIKE INGRAM, MARKET STRATEGIST, BGC PARTNERS, SAYING: "I don't think that's a knockout blow. I think it's fairly clear that the company's second largest shareholder BevCo is looking for something closer to 44, 45. And I suspect that's the number that the board of SABMiller have also pencilled in as the price for their independence." AB InBev is already the world's largest brewer. SAB the second. And together, they would make nearly a third of the world's beer. A good deal for shareholders says Ingram, perhaps not for consumers. with some dubbing the union the OPEC of beer. SOUNDBITE (English) MIKE INGRAM, MARKET STRATEGIST, BGC PARTNERS, SAYING: "It will have enormous global market share, enormous pricing power. And yes, of course if this deal is to be waved through by the competition authorities, there's going to have to be significant disposals both in North America and in China." One of those could be SAB's Coors Light. Part of a near 70 percent market share the pair controls in the US. If accepted, the new offer would see AB InBev pay 67 billion pounds - that's 103 billion dollars - making it the UK's biggest ever takeover. But London-listed SAB is so far refusing to comment.