LONDON (Reuters) - Brewer SABMiller PLC, trying to fend off an unsolicited takeover offer from rival Anheuser-Busch InBev, announced an accelerated cost-savings plan on Friday in an attempt to convince shareholders it can boost earnings on its own.
The maker of beers including Peroni, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell said it now expects to reach annualized cost savings of at least $1.05 billion by 2020. The prior target of its savings and efficiency program, announced in May 2014, was a goal of $500 million by 2018.
"We are continuing to remove duplication across markets, bringing specialist expertise in areas like procurement under one roof, and standardizing common processes," said Chief Executive Alan Clark. "It results in our markets being freed up to concentrate on what they do best - growing revenue with local consumers and customers."
The company said Clark was meeting with investors on Friday. He will try to promote the potential of SABMiller's business on a stand-alone basis, at the same time AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito is urging them to push SABMiller into takeover talks.
SAB has rejected AB InBev's latest $100 billion offer, saying it "very substantially undervalued" the company.
About 70 percent of the additional savings will come from procurement and the rest from manufacturing and distribution, the company said.
SABMiller said it expected to incur incremental non-recurring costs of $26 million by 2020.
The company's shares were up 0.2 percent at 36.47 pounds in London.