SABMiller sus­pends AB InBev merger process

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By BLOOMBERG

SABMiller Plc has sus­pended work on in­te­grat­ing the brewer’s op­er­a­tions with that of suitor An­heuser-Busch InBev NV, po­ten­tially throw­ing the in­dus­try’s big­gest deal ever into dis­ar­ray.

SABMiller Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Alan Clark told em­ploy­ees “there should be no con­tact with AB InBev with im­me­di­ate ef­fect”, while a new of­fer is re­viewed, ac­cord­ing to a memo seen by Bloomberg. Con­ver­gence plan­ning is paused, and all meet­ings and calls be­tween the com­pa­nies should be post­poned un­til fur­ther no­tice, the memo shows.

The same ap­plies to con­tact with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Asahi Group Hold­ings Ltd andMol­son Coors Brew­ing Co, ac­cord­ing to the memo, both of which are buy­ing as­sets from the brew­ers as part of the deal.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives for AB InBev and SABMiller de­clined to comment.

The rev­e­la­tion came a day af­ter AB InBev nudged its cash bid for the Bri­tish brewer up to 79 bil­lion pounds ($103.6 bil­lion) to ac­count for the pound’s plunge in the wake of the United King­dom’s vote last month to leave the Euro­pean Union.

That fol­lowed pressure from in­vestors who said the deal was un­ac­cept­able be­cause stock­hold­ers weren’t be­ing treated equally.

The ac­qui­si­tion is in the home stretch, re­ceiv­ing reg­u­la­tory clear­ance from South Africa and the United States in re­cent weeks, and­nowrisks be­com­ing an un­in­tended ca­su­alty of Brexit.

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