UK: SABMiller keener to consolidate than acquire

By | 13 June 2006

SABMiller is taking its foot off the acquisition accelerator.

Speaking at a conference in Paris yesterday (12 June), the brewer's chief executive has said that the company will focus more on consolidation than acquisition going forward.

"There aren't many small companies left to buy and most of the privatisations have been completed," Graham Mackay told reporters. "It's now important to make existing business stronger."

Last July, SABMiller paid US$4.8bn to Bavaria's owners, the Santo Domingo family, for a 71.8% stake in the Latin American company. In December, SABMiller bought 25.19% of Bavaria shares listed on the Colombian Stock Exchange, increasing its interest in the brewer to just under 97%. The transaction was widely-thought to be one of the last mega-purchases available in the global brewing market.

When asked if the brewer would hand excess cash to its shareholders in the form of a buyback, Mackay said: "If the transaction stream dried up, we might rethink the policy, but it won't be a one-off thing."

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: SABMiller, Bavaria

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