SABMiller suspends AB InBev merger process
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.