Aberdeen backs SABMiller to look again at Inbev bidComments Off on Aberdeen backs SABMiller to look again at Inbev bid
ONE of SABMiller’s biggest shareholders, Aberdeen Asset Management, has backed chairman Jan du Plessis to reappraise a planned takeover by rival AB Inbev after Brexit shifted the goalposts for the deal.
Aberdeen boss Martin Gilbert said his fund managers were “leading the charge” on shareholder demands to look again at AB Inbev’s cash offer, worth £44 a share when it was made last November.
Sab shareholders can choose cash or shares, but the share offer is relatively more appealing now, given a rise in AB Inbev stock and a Brexit-induced slump in the pound.
Gilbert (pictured) said it was wise for du Plessis to wait for regulatory approval from China’s Ministry of Commerce, which is still pending, before tackling the issue.
“The chairman is doing a good job,” Gilbert said of the South African businessman.
Gilbert’s group saw investors yank a further £8.9 billion from its funds in the three months ending June, but market moves added £17.5 billion more, leading assets under management higher to £301.4 billion.
It was left burned by property fund fears after Brexit. About £1.5 billion left Aberdeen’s property lines during the quarter.
Aberdeen suspended trading in its biggest property fund for one week, marking down the value and putting in a dilution levy as redemptions grew.
“We didn’t close it for a week to stop redemptions. We closed it for people who had put in redemption requests so they could withdraw them,” Gilbert said, adding 87.5% of people asking to redeem money subsequently cancelled their requests.
“If you want to sell your house in a week you will have to take a discount. It stopped the run on the property fund. We were fortunate we had 25% cash. If you close your fund it causes panic,” he said.