The Heineken family, which owns a controlling interest in the Dutch brewing company, has rejected a preliminary takeover offer from world No. 2 brewer SABMiller, according to headlines from Bloomberg just crossing now.
The report said SABMiller, the owner of Peroni, Coors and Budweiser, was interested in taking over Heineken as a way of defending itself against a potential takeover from its much-larger Belgium-based rival, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV.
“For SAB, a way of preserving their independence is to buy Heineken,” Matthew Beesley, portfolio manager and head of global equities for London-based Henderson Global Investors Ltd. told Bloomberg. “It’s easy to underestimate the desire for management teams to be in control of their own destiny rather than to sell their business at a very high price.”
The size of SABMiller’s bid for Heineken is unknown, but the Amsterdam-based group has a stock market value of about $44 billion. That said, the Heineken founding family seems uninterested on the offer, made in the last two weeks, as it is unwilling to lose control of the group, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.
Heineken’s controlling shareholder, Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, ranks as the richest individual in the Netherlands, and as one of the world’s richest women with a fortune of $12 billion, according to Forbes.