Anheuser-Busch InBev takes over Delta

HARARE - Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed Delta Corporation (Delta), will soon become part of the Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) family following a $101 billion megabrew merger between the Belgium-headquartered beverages maker and SABMiller.

Delta — 38 percent owned by globally brewer SABMiller with over $1 billion market capitalisation on the ZSE — yesterday announced that both AB InBev and SABMiller had voted for the merger, with the transaction expected to be completed by October 10.

“Delta has been an associate of SABMiller and will become an associate of the new enlarged entity.

“We do not anticipate any material changes to the current relationship between Delta and the combined group following the completion of AB InBev’s recommended combination with SABMiller,” Delta said in a board statement yesterday.

Announced in November 2015, the deal only got the High Court of Justice in England and Wale’s approval for a scheme of arrangement by which the recommended acquisition of SABMiller by AB InBev is being implemented last week.

“The enlarged group will assume the name of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (AB InBev) with headquarters in Leuven, Belgium and listed on Euronet Brussels, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Mexico Stock Exchange,” Delta said.

If successfully completed, the deal will see the two companies producing one third of the world’s beer with 224 beer brands —  excluding ciders and flavoured alcoholic drinks — under AB InBev’s control.

The beer takeover — one of the top five deals in corporate history — began making strides last year when, after two previous failed attempts, when SABMiller finally agreed “in principle” to accept AB InBev’s deal to pay £44 ($67) a share in cash.

By buying its closest rival, AB InBev will firmly secure its position as the world’s beer-making powerhouse.

Delta, which recorded a $104 million profit in 2014 up from $75 million profit registered in 2013 and posted a profit for the year of $ 92,8 million in 2015, is expected to benefit from the merger.

The local SABMiller unit has control of over 50 percent of the beverages market share with products ranging non-alcoholic beverages, sparkling beverages, lager beers to traditional beers.

Together with South Africa’s Distell, Delta jointly holds a 60,5 percent in ZSE listed wine and spirit maker African Distillers (Afdis).

Delta — which accounts for a third of market capitalisation on the ZSE — has been battling economic woes, which have left an indelible mark on the listed blue-chip counter. However, its low end portfolio has been cushioning the group against depressed sales.

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