Finally SABMiller buys Fosters


SABMiller finally reached an agreement to buy Foster's for $10.15 billion, ending a four-month-long takeover battle.

SABMiller's acquisition of Foster's will be the biggest takeover of a brewer since InBev acquired Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion in 2008


Under the terms of the deal, the giant global brewing company will pay 5.10 Australian dollars ($5.13) a share, an increase from its previous bid of AU$4.90. Foster's investors will also receive a special cash payout of 30 Australian cents per share, part of a previously announced capital initiative.

"Foster's will become an important part of our business," SABMiller's chief executive, Graham Mackay, said in a statement.

With its acquisition of Foster's, SABMiller will gain exposure to a market with high margins, albeit sluggish growth. Foster's has a 50 percent share of the Australian industry, with seven of the top 10 brands, including the No. 1 beer, Victoria Bitter.

Foster's reported lackluster full-year results last month that probably made shareholders more amenable to a revised offer from SABMiller.

It booked a loss of 89 million Australian dollars (91 million US dollars) for the fiscal year to June on revenue of 2.2 billion Australian dollars. The result was an improvement on the 464 million Australian dollar loss in the previous financial year when revenue was 5 percent higher.

The company blamed economic uncertainty, lower household disposable income and bad weather for a 5.6 percent slide in beer sales — a figure slightly better than the 6 percent drop for the sector as a whole.

SABMiller, the maker of almost 200 brands from Miller High Life to Lech and Chairman's Extra Strong Beer, became the second-largest brewer by volume after at least 30 deals in developing nations from Colombia to Poland and India.

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