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Brewer SABMiller accepts AB InBev final offer

[LONDON] Brewer SABMiller's board on Friday accepted a final takeover offer from rival Anheuser-Busch InBev, the company said in a statement, heralding what will be one of the world's biggest ever takeovers.

The Belgium-based AB InBev had raised its cash offer to £45 per share from £44, in a revised proposal tabled after the value of the pound slumped following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

SABMiller Chairman Jan du Plessis said the decision was difficult as the board in November had backed the £44 per share offer.

"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," he said in a statement.

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"This has made the board's decision more challenging, and we believe the final cash consideration of £45 per share to be at the lower end of the range of values considered recommendable," said Mr du Plessis.

SABMiller's takeover by AB InBev is expected to be the third largest in history if it clears all the regulatory hurdles.

The deal gained the backing on Friday of Chinese regulatory authorities and has previously been approved in the United States, European Union and South Africa, where SABMiller has its origins.

The buyout of London-based SABMiller is expected to boost AB InBev's prospects in developing markets in Africa and in China.