On Tuesday, a UK court ruled that SAB’s shareholders can be treated as two separate groups when they vote on the brewer’s £79bn takeover by Anheuser Busch InBev. This comes after SABMiller made a request that Altria and Bevco be treated as a separate class in order to make the voting as fair as possible. In the Judge’s opinion, the request from SAB was understandable as it lowers the risk of a challenge from dissenting shareholders who might oppose the vote, considering that Altria and Bevco have agreed to a different offer arrangement. Following the ruling, the deal will require 75% approval by SAB shareholders, excluding Altria and Bevco, who together control about 40% of the shares.
The gold index featured among the worst performers on Friday, with Sibanye Gold falling 3.19% to close at R55.28 per share. The stock might benefit however, from an uptick in the spot gold price this morning, as well as Amcu’s decision to call off its strike. On Sunday, the union announced it had unanimously agreed to accept Sibanye Gold’s new wage offer. This could antagonize the other unions considering Sibanye’s vocal insistence no further wage negotiations would be entertained following a three wage agreement signed towards the end of last year. According to Molaole Montsho, Solidarity has expressed its unhappiness, but also welcomed Amcu’s decision to call off what would most likely have been a bloody strike.
SABMiller ended practically unchanged on Thursday, despite reports the Competition Commission is unlikely to meet an April 12 deadline to investigate the acquisition of SABMiller by AB InBev. A spokesperson for the Commission said that there were still a number of issues needing attention before it could make a recommendation to the Competition Tribunal. The Tribunal is one of the regulators which must sign off on the takeover. In addition, the news Ebrahim Patel, the Economic Development Minister, would like to participate in the proceedings may further delay matters. As it stands, the two companies expect to finalise the deal by the end of the year.
SABMiller rose 1.36% during yesterday’s session to trade at R881.92, a new all-time high for the group. This was in spite of news that Anheuser-Busch InBev’ CEO, Carlos Brito, is scheduled to testify, along with other industry officials, before a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington later today. Brito will try and ease concerns of U.S. lawmakers with regards to the planned $110bn acquisition of SABMiller, which would result in an entity accounting for half the U.S. industry’s profit. As part of the deal, AB InBev plans to sell SABMiller’s 58% stake in MillerCoors to Molson Coors for $12 billion as it seeks to gain approval from the U.S. Justice Department.
Continue reading SABMiller: Still a few hurdles
With SABMiller continuing to dominate local headlines, yesterday saw a SENS release by the company indicate that it had rejected an informal offer from Anheuser-Busch InBev for the third time. The offer, which proposed a cash price of £42.15 per share or a share alternative of £2.37 cash plus 0.484 shares of ABI (equivalent to £37.49), represented a premium of about 44% on its closing price on the 14th of September. However, SAB’s board rejected the offer as it thought it undervalued the company. This comes on the back of resistance from the Santo Domingo family who own around 14%. In response, SAB fell 0.66% on the JSE while shedding 0.43% in the United States.
Continue reading SABMiller: Playing hard to get
SABMiller plc today issues its trading update for the 12 months ended 31 March 2015.
Alan Clark, Chief Executive of SABMiller, said:
“Our topline performance was strong in the final quarter, driven by double digit revenue growth in Africa and sustained growth in Latin America. Asia Pacific also returned to growth during the last three months of the year as lager volumes in China returned to growth. In the final quarter our revenues grew by 6%, repeating the strength of the first quarter, while full year revenue growth of 4% was driven by revenue per hectolitre growth in all regions”
SABMiller sees more affordable beer and middle class aspirations as the biggest growth opportunities in Africa.