HARARE, October 13 (The Source) – SABMiller, which owns Zimbabwe’s largest listed company Delta Corporation, on Tuesday agreed to sell itself to its bigger rival Anheuser-Busch InBev for $104 billion in one of the largest corporate deals in history.
Delta, which is 38 percent owned by SABMiller, will become part of a brewing empire that will make about one-third of the world’s beer as the Belgian headquartered AB InBev is already the world’s biggest brewer with SABMiller is its closest rival.
On the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, Delta closed 0.07 percent lower at 81,50 cents on Tuesday, valuing the company at just over $1 billion. Its share price has fallen by 20 percent year-on-year while it has struggled over the last two years as Zimbabwe’s economy tanked and consumer spending waned.
Local executives declined to comment on the developments, but the takeover will give AB InBev a footprint in Zimbabwe and expand its reach into the rest of Africa, which is expected to see a sharp increase in the legal drinking age population as well as increased beer consumption among its fast-growing middle class.
Locally, Delta comprises of the wholly owned Kwekwe Maltings, Schweppes Zimbabwe and Food and Industrial Processors in which it holds a 49 percent shareholding as well as African Distillers (31 percent) and Nampak Zimbabwe (21,4 percent).
SABMiller, which is primarily listed in London with a secondary listing in Johannesburg, said AB InBev is proposing to pay $66,94 (GBP44) per share in cash with a partial share alternative available for approximately 41 percent of the SABMiller shares which valued the group at GBP 68 billion.
The all-cash offer represents a premium of about 50 percent to SABMiller’s closing share price of $ 44.63 (GBP29.34) on 14 September 2015, the last business day prior to renewed speculation of an approach from AB InBev.
Prior to accepting AB InBev’s offer on Tuesday, SABMiller had previously rejected five approaches, including one made on Monday.