Robert is Assistant Editor of Reuters Breakingviews, based in London. He has a special focus on investment, writing about it on a global basis. Robert worked for The Times, in London, in a variety of writing and editing capacities from 1998 to 2010. For nearly 10 years he edited the newspaper’s daily Tempus investment column. He was also deputy business editor, acting business editor, a leader writer, the chief obituaries writer and a news editor in the home affairs department. Prior to joining The Times, Robert worked on The Independent and the London Evening Standard. His most recent book is called The Unwritten Laws of Finance and Investment (Profile, 2010). As a part-time lecturer, Robert led the financial journalism specialism at The City University in London in 10 academic years between 1995 and 2007. Follow Robert on Twitter @RobertCole7
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The Peroni brewer’s promise to find $550 mln of new cost savings by 2020 is paltry in the context of the $100 bln approach from AB InBev. SAB might have more powerful defences in its locker. It had better, if it wants to stay independent from the Budweiser brewer.
Cost savings in previous brewery mergers suggest the Budweiser maker is far from covering the 37 pct premium in its $100 bln offer for SABMiller, based on Breakingviews calculations. Sales growth and disposals might help. Sweetening the bid, however, is a tall order.
AB InBev’s $99 bln cash offer for SABMiller is robust. The alternative stock package is unusual, but looks cleverly designed to meet the tax needs of Altria and BevCo, SAB’s 41 percent shareholders. It also eases post-deal debt pressures. MegaBeer is almost here.
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