Heineken has turned down SABMillers takeover approach

Heineken has turned down SABMiller's takeover approach

Heineken has confirmed it has received a takeover approach from SABMiller but that the proposal is “non-actionable”.

Over the weekend, a report from Bloomberg cited unnamed sources claiming that the two brewers had held discussions over a purchase of Heineken by SABMiller. When contacted by just-drinks yesterday, neither side was prepared to comment.

However, early this morning, the Netherlands-based brewer issued a statement that said the two have been in contact. “In response to recent press speculation, … Heineken has been approached by SABMiller regarding a potential acquisition of Heineken,” the company said.

“Heineken has consulted with its majority shareholder and concluded that SABMiller's proposal is non-actionable.”

The brewer's holding company is 50.005% controlled by Heineken Holding, 52% of which is owned by L'Arche Green, the investment vehicle of the Heineken family.

“The family has informed SABMiller … of its intention to preserve … Heineken as an independent company.”

The move by SABMiller is thought to be an attempt to ward off widely-expected overtures from Anheuser-Busch InBev.