Bloomberg just reported SABMiller Plc (SAB) has approached the owners of Heineken NV (HEIA) about an offer for the smaller brewer, to help defend itself against a potential bid by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI), people with knowledge of the matter said. Anheuser -Bush is arguably the largest brewer in the world and has been trying to fend off competition from the South African owned SAB Miller, the second largest brewer.
According to Bloomberg, SABMiller’s preliminary offer was rejected by the family that controls Heineken, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The offer, made in the last two weeks, would have made the Heineken family one of the largest holders in the combined company, said one of the people.
The family owners have rejected the approach as they don’t want to lose control of the 34 billion-euro ($44 billion), Amsterdam-based brewer, the people said. SAB is assessing its next move, the person added, and it’s not clear if it will make another approach to the family.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out and how the Nigerian subsidiaries will react to this. SAB Miller have major interest in smaller breweries in Nigeria and is positioning the likes of International Breweries to compete with Nigerian Breweries. Nigerian Breweries owned by Heineken has also been making its own acquisitions locally as well setting the stage for a competitive local market that has seen cheaper beers gain market share. Guinness, weak full year results recently released already demonstrate how far the landscape has shifted in the beer market.