The parent company of Miller beer threw in the towel Thursday in a bidding war for the fourth-biggest brewer in China, leaving the prize for rival


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SABMiller dropped its 52-cents-a-share bid for Harbin Brewery and said it would sell into Anheuser-Busch's offer, which comes out to about 71 cents a share, or a little over $700 million. The company said the Anheuser-Busch buyout "more than fully values the potential of the company."

SABMiller expects to receive $211 million for its roughly 29% stake in Harbin, a sum that will allow it to book "a substantial profit" over its cost basis. Miller noted that while it wanted Harbin, the company "was not an essential asset at any price."

Anheuser-Busch announced its offer on Tuesday after upping its stake in Harbin to more than 37% through agreements to buy the stakes of an investment fund and a group of Harbin executives.

Anheuser-Busch closed Wednesday at $53.87, about 23 cents below its 52-week high.