AUS: Foster's at a loss to explain share spike
Foster's Group today (24 November) said it was "unaware" of any reasons behind the surge in its share price yesterday.
The Australian Stock Exchange had asked Foster's to provide any information it thought could be related to the movement in its share price, which yesterday hit a high of A$6.97 (US$5.40) before settling at A$6.80.
However, Foster's could offer no explanation. "The company is not aware of any unannounced information concerning it that explains the recent trading in the company's shares," Foster's said.
Reports in Australia yesterday suggested that InBev could table an offer worth A$7.50 a share, valuing Foster's at A$15bn. InBev refused to be drawn on the speculation, which first emerged in August.
Foster's CEO Trevor O'Hoy has said he believes that no potential suitor would be willing to take a punt on the company while it integrates the Southcorp business and combines its wine and beer distribution networks.
"The integration of Southcorp should be completed by the end of this year," O'Hoy told just-drinks last month. "At the same time, we're combining our distribution systems, which should take between 12 and 18 months. They wouldn't want to buy into it (Foster's) until both issues were settled."
However, O'Hoy has said that Foster's would be on the radar of multinational drinks firms around the world. "The jewel in the crown is our Australian business," he said. "A lot of companies are showing interest in our multi-beverage model. While we're breaking new ground in multi-beverage, I reckon some competitors are thinking: "Let's see a bit more first"."
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