AUS: SABMiller to plough ahead on Foster's Group - report
SABMiller is in the final stages of preparing the AUD4.9-per-share (US$5.24) cash bid, the Times newspaper reported today (1 September), citing unnamed sources. According to the paper, SABMiller intends to plough on with its plan to engage directly with Foster's shareholders, after becoming frustrated at the intransigence of the Australian brewer's board.
The news comes amid another wobble for Foster's' share price. It sank by 2.4% to just AUD4.86 at the end of today's trading on the Australian Stock Exchange, marking the first time it has fallen below SABMiller's offer price since the Peroni brewer's hostile bid plan was announced.
Last week, Foster's announced in its full-year results that it would hand at least AUD500m back to shareholders in the next 12 months. It also signalled that it plans to cut costs, in what many observers believe was an announcement designed to restore shareholder confidence in the management.
However, these pledges, toegther with disappointing results, have failed to boost the group's share price. At the same time, rival bidders have not emerged. Subsequently, SABMiller has looked to be in a stronger position.
SABMiller's MD for Europe believes that beer consumption can still rebound in the hard-hit region, but is concerned that mainstream brewers are "driving blandness"....
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