Altria supports Anheuser-Busch InBev’s proposed merger with SABMiller
Richmond-based Altria Group said Wednesday it supports Anheuser-Busch InBev’s plans to buy SABMiller plc for $107 billion. The transaction would create the largest beer company in the world.
Altria, one of the biggest tobacco companies in the world, owns approximately 27 percent of SABMiller, whose beer brands include Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft, Coors and Blue Moon. It has been a SABMiller shareholder since 2002.Anheuser-Busch makes Budweiser, Bud Light and Shock Top, among other beers.
“Altria fully supports this transaction, and we strongly believe that the deal is in the best interest of our shareholders,” Marty Barrington, Altria’s chairman, CEO and president, said in a statement. “Upon closing, Altria will continue to participate in the global brewing profit pool as a large and significant shareholder in what will be the industry’s largest company. We continue to work constructively with the parties toward closing, and we look forward to working with the AB InBev management team at the new, combined company.”
When the deal is finalized, Altria expects to receive an approximately 10.5 percent stake in the new, combined company and approximately $2.5 billion in cash, subject to proration. Altria also expects to have two seats on the new company’s board of directors.
The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including shareholder approvals of both SABMiller and AB InBev and receiving the required regulatory approvals.