AND THEN THERE WERE TWO
SABMiller has agreed to buy Foster’s Group Ltd. for 9.9 billion Australian dollars in cash ($1O.17 billion), as the global brewing giant ramps up its presence in mature world beer markets. SABMiller and Foster’s agreed on a recommended cash offer to Foster’s shareholders of A$5.1O a share. The offer is a premium on its previous A$4.9O-a-share bid made in June which Fosters rejected as insufficient. SABMiller – the second-biggest global brewer by volume after Anheuser-Busch InBev NV – wants to extend its proportional reach out of the fast-growing emerging markets, which bring in 8O% of its profits, by building its position in developed consumer economies. The UK-based group also said it expects to benefit from booming growth in Asia, where rising incomes and preference for a Western lifestyle are fueling demand for consumer products. Foster’s is Australia’s biggest brewer by sales and has a portfolio of well-established brands including VB, Carlton Draught, Crown Lager, Pure Blonde, Carlton Mid and Carlton Dry. SABMiller’s pursuit of Foster’s is the first big acquisition play in the brewing industry since Heineken bought Mexico’s FEMSA early last year.