Today the papers relate how a glass of wine can apparently help you slim. Conversely, Foster’s Group earlier this year slimmed down by shedding its wine business – and has rapidly found itself a nice, charming suitor.
Or rather, an increasingly hostile one. SAB Miller made its first pass at the Aussie brewer in June, with a £6.2bn bid that was given short shrift. This week it came back – and has received the proverbial two fingers once again.
Which perhaps isn’t that surprising considering the terms of the bid remain the same. Its offer of AUD4.90 a share was below yesterday’s price for Foster’s stock. SAB reckons the shares are already going at a premium following the disposal of the wine business and this summer’s earlier bid.
Foster’s, for its part, says the bid “significantly undervalues” the company and has, rather snootily, urged its shareholders to “ignore all documents and communications” from SAB.
However, the current price is down on the AUD5.22 at which it peaked following the June bid. And its position could weaken further if next week’s full-year figures aren’t good. (Indeed, stagnation in the company’s domestic beer market has led some analysts to argue that SAB is barking up the wrong tree.)
Factor in the lack of rival bidders since SAB first firmed up its longstanding interest and it will surely become evident that Foster’s refusal to come to the table is really only a negotiating tactic.