On Sunday, Bloomberg reported that Amsterdam-based Heineken International was approached by London-based SABMiller (SBMRY) with a buyout offer. According to Euromonitor, SABMiller controlled 9.7% of the global beer industry in 2013, second only to Anheuser-Busch InBev's (BUD) 20.6% share. Adding Heineken would have given it that brewer's 9.2% global stake, which includes its namesake brand, Amstel, Sol, Dos Equis, Tecate, Murphy's Irish Stout and Strongbow cider.
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It also would have added a potential $44 billion in market capitalization to SABMiller's $60.2 billion market cap and increased an SABMiller portfolio that includes the Miller, Leinenkugel's, Keystone and Milwaukee's best brands, as well as MolsonCoors's (TAP) Coors and Blue Moon brands through the MillerCoors North American joint venture. However, the Heineken family issued a statement on Sunday night rejecting SABMiller's offer.
The Heineken family has only a minor stake in Heineken International's publicly traded shares but still holds a majority of the voting shares in the company. Any acquisition by SABMiller or merger with MolsonCoors, as speculated by The Wall Street Journal, would have to meet with their approval.
The family previously approved the acquisition of the Scottish & Newcastle family of brewers for more than $15 billion in 2008. That gave Heineken rights to the Murphy's, Strongbow, Newcastle and Beamish brands, as well as European distribution rights to Australian brand Fosters, which it retained when SABMiller snatched up Foster's for $10 billion in 2011.
The family also approved Heineken's $5.7 billion acquisition of Mexican brewer FEMSA in 2010, which gave it control of the Dos Equis, Tecate and Sol brands. Those Heineken acquisitions were made as Belgium/Brazil-based InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion in 2008 and just before Anheuser-Busch InBev purchased Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo -- maker of the Modelo, Corona and Pacifico brands -- for more than $20 billion last year.
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