Australia: Foster’s Group is to unanimously recommend to shareholders that they reject a hostile bid for the company from SABMiller. The offer, of A$4.90 a share, values the company at about £6bn and is the same as the one put to the Foster’s board in June. SABMiller, which brews Peroni and Miller Draft in the UK, said it had decided to go direct to shareholders after the board refused to engage with its opening approach. But Foster’s said the bid “significantly undervalues the company”. “Foster’s shareholders are advised to take no action and ignore all documents and communications from SABMiller,” it added.
US: Walmart has reported a 5.5% rise in second-quarter turnover to $108.6bn. The figure was boosted by a 16% jump in international sales to $30bn. “I’m pleased we’ve made so much progress on integrating the acquisitions of the Nettos in the UK and Massmart in sub-Saharan Africa,” said CEO Mike Duke. Walmart has now increased its full-year earnings forecast to $4.41-$4.51, up from its February estimate of $4.35-$4.50 a share.
Ethiopia: Heineken has completed the acquisition of two breweries in Ethiopia that have a combined 18% share of the domestic beer market. The Dutch brewer bought the Bedele and Harar breweries from the Ethiopian government for $85m and $78m respectively at public auction. “We are delighted to have acquired these two breweries, which give us a sustainable footprint in one of Africa’s most exciting beer markets,” said Siep Hiemstra, regional president for Africa and the Middle East. “The transactions reflect our strategy of increasing growth in developing markets.”
UAE: Brasil Foods, the world’s biggest poultry exporter, has revealed plans to build a $120m factory in the UAE. Once fully up and running, the factory will have an annual capacity of 80,000 tonnes and produce poultry products as well as hamburgers, speciality meats and pizzas. It is expected to begin operating at the end of 2012. The Middle East is a big market for the company, accounting for 31.8% of exports.