18 Aug 2011

SABMiller taking another crack at Foster's

7:06 am on 18 August 2011

SABMiller is making a second bid to take over Foster's Group, this time by going direct to shareholders of Australia's biggest brewer.

The bid is worth $A9.5 billion. The offer remains at $A4.90 per share, which Foster's rejected as too low when SABMiller's made its first approach in June.

SABMiller says the offer will also be reduced by any second-half dividend Foster's pays, forecast at around 15 cents, or 3% of the offer price.

Analysts expect Foster's board to rebuff its suitor for a second time on Thursday.

Foster's has been the subject of takeover rumours since last year, when it announced plans to break up the company into two.

The company is seen as having few other options, but its closing share price on Wednesday indicated expectations that SABMiller will go higher.

Foster's brands include VB, Carlton Draught, Cascade and Fat Yak.

Its beer and wine operations were listed separately in May.

SABMiller owns brands such as Grolsch and Peroni.

It must gain the acceptance of at least 90% of Foster's shareholders for the takeover attempt to succeed.