They're now official drinking buddies. Bud Light maker Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) on Wednesday, Nov. 11, unveiled a formal offer for Miller Genuine Draft maker SABMiller (SBMRY) , along with a related deal to sell SABMiller's stake in its U.S. joint venture.
The offer values the target's equity at around £71 billion ($107.59 billion) in Big Beer's biggest-ever deal and possibly the last big gulp for AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito. Meanwhile in Copenhagen, Carlsberg (CABGY) announced plans to slash 2,000 jobs, or about 15% of its workforce, citing challenging conditions in the Russian, Chinese and U.K. markets.
AB InBev, the Leuven, Belgium-based beermaker, will pay 4,400 pence a share in cash for each SABMiller share, in line with a framework deal announced last month, with a partial share alternative available for the 41.6% of shares held by the target's two largest shareholders, tobacco giant Altria (MO - Get Report) and the Santo Domingo family's Bevco.
The cash offer represents a 50% premium to SABMiller's undisturbed share price.
Also on Wednesday, AB InBev uncorked an agreement to sell SABMiller's 58% stake in Chicago-based MillerCoors, a joint venture with Molson Coors Brewing (TAP - Get Report) , to Molson Coors for $12 billion, conditional on completion of the bigger deal with SABMiller.
Molson Coors will gain full ownership of the Miller brand portfolio outside the United States, and retain the rights to all brands currently in the MillerCoors portfolio for the U.S. market, including imports such as Peroni and Pilsner Urquell. That sale also includes the global Miller brand, which is currently sold in over 25 countries, as well as related trademarks and intellectual property rights.
The divestiture of the MillerCoors joint venture is meant to assuage antitrust concerns that the U.S. Department of Justice may have about the acquisition.
Wednesday's agreements come more than a month after the companies went public with their discussions, with SABMiller rejecting the first three informal offers.
AB InBev persisted and finally won over SABMiller's board on Oct. 13 after a further sweetener. The offer agreed upon Wednesday has the unanimous backing of SABMiller's board, which is led by chairman Jan du Plessis.
"By pooling our resources, we would build one of the world's leading consumer products companies, benefiting from our experience, commitment and drive of our combined global talent base," said Brito in a statement on Wednesday.
SABMiller CEO Alan Clark declared that the fusion "will bring new opportunities for exceptional success."
Through M&A, both brewers have emerged from the second tier of global brewers about 25 years ago to world No. 1 and No. 2.
In its most recent fiscal year, SABMiller posted $22 billion in sales. SABMiller dates back to the foundation of South African Breweries in 1895 during the Johannesburg gold rush. Adding SABMiller would give AB InBev greater exposure to Africa and other emerging markets, which account for about two-thirds of SABMiller's sales.
AB InBev had revenue of $47.1 billion in 2014 and employs 155,000 people in 25 countries.