Foster’s accepts improved SABMiller takeover bid

The board of Foster’s Group has recommended to its shareholders that an improved takeover offer by SABMiller is accepted.

The deal, which according to the Australia-based brewer has an enterprise value of AU$12.3b, will see Foster’s shareholders receive AU$5.53 per share, a 13% increase on the originally proposed AU$4.90 per share.

Foster’s chairman David Crawford said: “This is a compelling proposal from SABMiller and represents the value inherent in this iconic Australian company and in its brands and people.

“The board’s primary concern has been and continues to be to act in the best interests of Foster’s shareholders and maximise value for them.

“The board believes SABMiller’s revised proposal of  $5.5325 cash per share, which includes the 13.25 cents final dividend, reflects compelling value for Foster’s shareholders and delivers certain cash proceeds in an uncertain global economic environment with high equity market volatility.”

According to Foster’s, the transaction is subject to the shareholder approval of the ‘Capital Return’ and ‘Scheme Implementation Deed’, but is expected to be completed before the end of calendar 2011.”

Commenting on the agreement, SABMiller's chief executive, Graham Mackay, said: "Foster's will become an important part of our business, and through the application of our commercial capabilities and global scale, we expect to build on the initiatives that Foster's management has put in place, further enhancing Foster's performance and creating value for our shareholders.

"Foster's has a long-standing and proud reputation as one of the leading companies in Australia. We look forward to working with Foster's employees and other stakeholders to ensure the success of Foster's in the future as the largest brewer in Australia with an outstanding portfolio of brands."