AB InBev lines up banks for SABMiller takeover

29 September, 2015

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is lining up banks including Bank of America Corp. and Banco Santander SA to arrange as much as US$70 billion in financing as it prepares to make a takeover proposal for SABMiller Plc, according to reports from Bloomberg News.

The reporting team of Dinesh Nair, Manuel Baigorri and Thomas Buckley say that according to anonymous sources,  Deutsche Bank AG, BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale SA have also submitted financing proposals to the world’s biggest brewer.

AB InBev is working with about 10 banks to arrange total financing of $50 billion to $70 billion, they said. Talks are ongoing and the timing of any offer will depend on finalising the funding package, they said.

Since AB InBev’s intention to pursue a takeover of SABMiller was disclosed on Sept. 16, there has been informal contact between the companies, two of the people said. Any deal could value the smaller, London-listed brewer at more than $100bn, according to analysts’ estimates.

The acquisition of SABMiller would be the biggest in the industry’s history and cap more than a decade of consolidation across brewing companies.

AB InBev may pay more than 4,200 pence for each share of SABMiller, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on the average estimate of five analysts. That would value SABMiller at about £68bn ($103bn).

SABMiller is signaling it may consider an offer of about 4,300 pence to 4,500 pence per share, two of the people said, adding that the valuation is still being discussed and will also depend on the structure of the offer.

The beer maker would probably raise about $60bn of debt to finance the acquisition, Owen Murfin, a London-based portfolio manager on BlackRock Inc.’s global bond team, said last week. That would be a record bond offering, exceeding the $49bn that Verizon Communications Inc. raised two years ago to fund its buyout of Vodafone Group Plc’s stake in a wireless venture.

Spokesmen for AB InBev and SABMiller declined to comment. Representatives for BofA, Deutsche Bank, Santander and SocGen also declined to comment. Officials at BNP Paribas didn’t respond to requests to comment, said the Bloomberg team.

Keywords: beer, sabmiller, A-B InBev

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