SABMiller launches hostile Foster's bid

Peroni and Pilsner Urquell brewer SABMiller has launched a hostile bid for Australian beer giant Foster’s.

The £6 billion offer is being taken directly to Foster’s shareholders two months after the company’s directors rejected an initial bid of the same value.

The London-based brewer said: “SABMiller believes that the proposal put to the Foster’s board is attractive and should be put to Foster’s shareholders.  

“As there has been no willingness to engage in relation to SABMiller’s proposal on the part of the Foster’s board, SABMiller has decided to make an offer to Foster’s shareholders directly.”

The A$4.90 offer is lower than the current Foster’s share price and there is speculation that SABMiller may have to increase its offer to secure the support of shareholders.

Any merger between the two companies would not affect Foster’s beer in the UK, where Heineken is the brand owner. Foster’s wine brands, including Wolf Blass, Lindemans and Rosemount, were hived off earlier this year to a new company, Treasury Wine Estates.