- YouTube/Bud Light
It’s back on.
The beer giant SABMiller’s board of directors on Friday unanimously recommended an increased takeover offer from the rival Anheuser-Busch InBev.
AB InBev, the maker of Budweiser, earlier this week raised its takeover offer to £45 ($60) a share from £44 ($58), which it had initially agreed to back in October.
The new offer values SABMiller, the maker of Miller, at roughly $125 billion, up from about $109 billion in October, based on exchange rates at the time.
Numerous activist investors in SABMiller, including Elliott Management, had raised concerns about the deal following a 12% drop in the pound versus the dollar since the UK voted in June to leave the European Union.
AB InBev also tweaked the terms of an alternative share-and-cash structure designed for SABMiller’s two largest shareholders, raising the cash element by £0.88 ($1.15) a share, according to Reuters.
Things had started to look pretty dire for the deal, which would be the largest in several years. On Wednesday SABMiller told its employees to stop working on the transaction altogether.
But now it appears that the beer behemoths are back in the clear.
Of course, the deal is still subject to shareholder approval, but the board’s recommendation is a positive sign.
AB InBev also cleared a significant regulatory hurdle on Friday.
It received the go-ahead from China’s Ministry of Commerce for the deal. China is the 23rd jurisdiction in which the deal has received approval, and a notoriously unpredictable one for antitrust clearance.