Heineken Confirms it Received and Rejected SABMiller Bid

LONDON (The Deal) -- Dutch brewer Heineken NV confirmed on Sunday that it had received and rejected a takeover proposal from SABMiller plc.

"Heineken has consulted with its majority shareholder and concluded that SABMiller's proposal is non-actionable," the company said in response to a Bloomberg report that a "preliminary offer" made in the past two weeks was rejected by Heineken's controlling family shareholders.

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The target added in its statement: "The Heineken family has informed SABMiller, Heineken and Heineken Holding NV of its intention to preserve the heritage and identity of Heineken as an independent company. The Heineken family and Heineken NV's management are confident that the Company will continue to deliver growth and shareholder value."

Heineken had a market value of 34.2 billion euros ($44.3 billion), as of Friday's close, compared with SABMiller's 54.9 billion pounds ($89.2 billion).

The proposal comes amid rumors that SABMiller, the world's No. 2 brewer, will become a target for the No. 1, AB InBev SA. Both of those companies were created by large transatlantic mergers, in 2002 and 2008, respectively.

News of the proposal also comes two weeks after SABMiller closed the sale of its stake in South African leisure group Tsogo Sun Holdings Ltd. to raise gross proceeds of 10.6 billion rand ($1 billion).

Two weeks ago Heineken announced an agreement to sell its Mexican packaging business to Philadelphia-based Crown Holdings Inc. for an enterprise value of $1.225 billion, unwinding part of its 2010 purchase of the brewing operations of Mexico's Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB de CV, or Femsa, for 5.3 billion euros.

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