Brewing giant SABMiller has agreed to buy Australian beermaker Foster’s for 8.6 billion euros, including debt. The purchase will make SABMiller number one in the beer market down under.
The price is an improvement on the original offer which the London-based brewer of Peroni, Miller Lite and Grolsch had turned into a hostile bid after Foster’s rejected it as too low.
SABMiller says the bid is part of its strategy of creating an attractive global spread of businesses to add to its operations largely in the emerging markets of Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe.
It has been long seen as the favourite to take over Foster’s with other big brewing rivals saddled by high debts after recent deals. Foster’s is seen as attractive due to its high profit margins and dominant position in Australia although beer volumes have sagged recently with a poor summer and a consumer downturn.
The Foster’s business which SABMiller is buying holds about half of Australia’s beer market and little else, having retreated home from the global beer empire it once held and having split off its wine business earlier this year.