Foster's sale clears Australian hurdle

28th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Anglo-South African brewer SABMiller's multi-billion dollar takeover of Foster's cleared a major hurdle Wednesday when Australia's competition watchdog said it would not oppose it.

The Foster's board last week agreed to an improved offer worth Aus$9.9 billion (US$10.16 billion), or Aus$5.10 per share, for the company.

"The ACCC has formed the view that the proposed acquisition is not likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition for the supply of beer," Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said.

The ACCC added that it had carried out a comprehensive review and sought comment from competing breweries, supermarket retailers, distributors, licensed venues and bottle shops, or off-licences.

SABMiller expects the takeover to be completed before the end of the year, although the deal still requires the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board and Foster's shareholders.

A takeover of Foster's had been expected since the group's recent demerger of its wine and beer operations and amid consolidation within the Australian beverage industry.

© 2011 AFP

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