Wednesday 16 September 2015

Coincidence? - part 2 - CORRECTED

Quelle surprise - Anheuser-Busch Inbev, the world's largest brewer, has finally coughed up to what I have been banging on about for the whole of 2015. That ABI wants to buy SAB Miller, the maker of Peroni and Grolsch, for almost £75 billion (that's a rough figure by the way).

Hacks over at the Financial Times are claiming to have triggered an announcement from SAB Miller. Apparently, the FTSE 100 beer giant shoved out an announcement this morning before the Pink' Un could publish following enquiries from the venerable newspaper's intrepid journos about the brewer receiving a takeover approach from ABI.

Now, that's fair enough, I suppose, but I would like to think my efforts on little old Betaville yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon and freelance articles in several national newspapers contributed in some way to this morning's confirmations and helped readers get to grips with the situation throughout the year.

Indeed, in case you don't recall I wrote a story in the Mail on Sunday's business section back in February highlighting how 3G, the Brazilian private equity firm that is the biggest shareholder in ABI, was looking at buying SAB Miller as part of a consortium with ABI. Here is a link:

I took a lot of stick for publishing that piece, especially after 3G then moved to buy Kraft with Warren Buffett for $40 billion. Some of my detractors claimed I had got the story mixed up.

However, I stuck to my guns and wrote a piece in The Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago about how SAB Miller had been consulting Robey Warshaw, the uber City grandee dealmakers, about its "defence options" ahead of a potential offer from ABI. Here is a link to that piece:

And yesterday afternoon I revealed on little old Betaville that Altria, SAB Miller's largest shareholder, had pulled out of a Bank of America Merrill Lynch industry conference, which triggered another round of frenzied speculation about ABI going for SAB Miller (because for ABI to get hold of SAB Miller it would need Altria's approval). Here is a link to that article: 

And if you don't know what happened next, here are links to the today's announcements:

So, if any of my loyal readers fancy buying me a beer, you know how to reach me.

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