Foster’s boss urges shareholders to reject SABMiller’s $9.5 million offer

Foster’s has made a plea to shareholders to reject SABMiller’s takeover bid.

Yesterday the company chairman sent a letter to shareholders urging them not to accept the offer from the brewer, which operates across six continents.

“Your board unanimously recommends you reject SABMiller’s offer,” Foster’s chairman David Crawford wrote.

“You will soon receive a document from SABMiller called a Bidder’s Statement which will provide information in relation to SABMiller’s offer.

"You should take no action when you receive this document.

"Do not fill in any documents sent to you by SABMiller.

“While your Board will always act in the best interests of shareholders and will therefore give due consideration to any bona fide offers it receives, your Board also believes there is significant future value available to you, as a shareholder, if Foster’s remains an independent company.

"The long term fundamentals of the beer and cider categories in Australia remain strong.”

Fosters believes SABMiller’s offer of $4.90 per share “significantly undervalues” the company and despite its lowest sales profits in two decades, last month remained optimistic about its future.

"Last year was probably the toughest market conditions we have seen in nearly 20 years," chief executive John Pollaers said at the time.

Foster’s reported an underlying profit of $494.9 million for the last financial year.

The Australian brewer has twice rejected SABMiller’s $9.5 million offer in the past.

Crawford said Foster’s declared a dividend of 13.25 cents per share on 23 August 2011, meaning SABMiller’s offer price is now $4.7675 per share.

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