Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller are one step closer to making history after tentatively agreeing to a merger worth nearly $104 billion, a deal that would be the largest takeover in U.K. history.
In a press statement, Anheuser-Busch InBev said Tuesday that it reached an agreement, in principle, to acquire a majority of the London-based SABMiller for 44 pounds a share.
“The Board of SABMiller has indicated to AB InBev that it would be prepared unanimously to recommend the all-cash offer of GBP 44.00 per SABMiller share to SABMiller shareholders, subject to their fiduciary duties and satisfactory resolution of the other terms and conditions of the Possible Offer,” the company said.
The offer represents a premium of approximately 50 percent to SABMiller’s closing share price of 29.34 pound, on September 14, the last day before news of A-B’s takeover attempts surfaced.
If completed, the combined companies would control 30 percent of global beer sales and have annual revenues of about $64 billion.
The agreement comes after 30 days of negotiations and three rejected offers by SABMiller.
Per British takeover law, the board of SABMiller requested an extension of the PUSU (put up or shut up) deadline, in an effort to continue talks regarding the possible offer, A-B InBev said in its statement. The two companies have until October 28 to make a final determination.
If accepted, a merger would trigger a worldwide antitrust examination. In the U.S., SABMiller would need to divest its stake in MillerCoors, a joint venture with Molson Coors, and in China, A-B would likely need to find a new owner for SABMiller’s CR Snow brand.
The U.S Department of Justice is already looking into allegations that A-B restricts access to market for craft brewers, Reuters reported.
More details can be found in A-B InBev’s official press statement.