UK-based conglomerate, South African Breweries (SAB), is reported to be close to sealing its $5 billion acquisition of Miller Brewing from the Philip Morris group. Industry and banking sources indicate that SAB will conclude the deal next week with Interbrew deciding against making a counter bid.

As suggested earlier, the deal will be a cash-and-share deal which will see SAB/Miller take over from Interbrew as the second largest brewing force in the world after Anheuser-Busch. According to reports, SAB will pay US$3 billion in shares and the remainder in cash which would effectively give Philip Morris a 25% stake in the new merged company.