Heineken rejects SABMiller take over approach

15 Sep 2014


SABMiller Plc's attempt to buy a smaller brewer Heineken NV, in a deal that would have strengthened it against a potential bid by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI), has met with rejection, Bloomberg reported citing people aware of the development.

In a statement, Heineken, the brewer of Amstel Light, confirmed that it had turned down the offer and said it intended to remain independent.

SABMiller's preliminary approach was rejected by the family controlling Heineken, according to Bloomberg News yesterday. The offer, which came in the last two weeks, would have made the family one of the combined company's largest shareholders, one of the people said.

Shares of Heineken were up as much as 4.3 per cent to €61.98 in Amsterdam, the highest since December 1998. According to the people, the family members were are resistant to any sale as they wanted to keep control of the €35 billion ($45 billion) brewer, according to the people.

Meanwhile, SABMiller, which is speculated as being a takeover taget by AB InBev, is now considering its next move, and according to Bloomberg's source it was not clear if it would approach the family again.

The majority shareholding Heineken family informed its British-based rival SABMiller "of its intention to preserve the heritage and identity of Heineken as an independent company", RTE News reported.

"The Heineken family and Heineken NV's management are confident that the company will continue to deliver growth and shareholder value," the statement added. Therefore the SABMiller bid was "non-actionable".

According to Heineken, it made the decision to announce the approach by SABMiller, and its rejection, to quell rumours in the markets.

SABMiller, is the second-biggest brewer in the world with the Miller and Peroni brands, while Heineken ranks third, not only due to the Heineken brand but also to sales of Amstel, Sol, Dos Equis and others.

Heineken said last month that beer drinking during the World Cup football season raised sales volumes in the first half of the year, though, net profits were down to € 631 million from € 639 million at the same time last year.

Heineken said its market share was up in a number of important markets like Brazil, Nigeria, Vietnam, France and the Netherlands.

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