Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev SA is mulling raising its takeover bid for SABMiller PLC to approximately 43 pounds ($66) a share, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. The offer, if made, would be higher than a previous one of 42.15 pounds a share -- which SABMiller rejected last week -- but lower than the 45 pounds a share the target company desires.
At 43 pounds a share, SABMiller would be worth 69.6 billion pounds.
The report comes just days ahead of a Wednesday deadline, set by British regulators, for a formal bid. So far, the world’s second-largest brewer has rejected three offers -- at 38, 40 and 42.15 pounds a share -- from AB InBev.
SABMiller announced last month that AB InBev, which makes Budweiser and Stella Artois, had approached it regarding a takeover. If the deal materializes, it would be the biggest ever takeover of a British company, and create a brewing giant worth over $250 billion producing a third of the world’s beer.
However, despite support from Altria Group Inc., SABMiller’s biggest shareholder with a 27 percent stake, the two biggest brewers have failed to agree on a takeover price.
On Monday, just days after SABMiller’s board dismissed the 42.15 pound a share offer as “very substantially” undervaluing the company, its fourth-largest shareholder also rejected the offer.
“We have confidence in the board and we will rely on their judgment. They have said the price is too low and we agree with them,” Dan Matjila, CEO of Public Investment Corp., which owns about 3 percent of SABMiller, reportedly said.
Shares in SABMiller were also a shade lower Monday, trading down 0.73 percent, as investors awaited developments amid possibility of an improved offer.