NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Anheuser Busch InBev (BUD) - Get Report are rising 2.29% to $128.91 today after SABMiller's (SBMRY) board backed AB InBev's higher takeover offer of nearly $104 billion, or $45 per share, paving the way for a merger between the two breweries.
The board's recommendation comes after SABMiller halted its efforts to integrate with the Belgian brewer earlier this week to discuss with shareholders the most recent offer, which AB InBev said would be its final. The deal is now subject to shareholder approval.
SABMiller also proposed that its two biggest shareholders, Altria (MO) and Bevco, be treated as a separate class of shareholders and allow the other shareholders to vote on the new offer separately, the company said.
"The board's decision was difficult given changes in circumstances since the board originally recommended £44 per share in cash last November," said SABMiller Chairman Jan du Plessis in a statement. "Since then, various factors have affected the value of the offer, most importantly the impact of the Brexit vote on the value of Sterling and the re-rating of comparable companies."
Du Plessis added that the board feels AB InBev's offer is still at the lower end of the range of values considered recommendable. The transaction is expected to close "as soon as practicable," du Plessis said.
AB InBev received regulatory clearance on the purchase from China earlier today, based on the agreement to sell SABMiller's 49% stake in China Resources Snow Breweries to its joint venture partner, China Resources Beer.