SABMiller directors will tomorrow discuss mounting frustration among some of the FTSE 100 brewer’s shareholders with the terms of its £77bn takeover by rival Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The SAB board is due to convene ahead of the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday. It is thought that increasing investor pressure for SAB to seek a higher cash offer from Stella Artois-owner AB InBev will be a topic of discussion.

SAB’s AGM could see some shareholders speak out against the takeover, which is the biggest deal in British corporate history, amid growing anger that the terms increasingly favour the FTSE 100 brewer’s two biggest investors, tobacco firm Altria and the Colombia’s Santo Domingo family.

Activist hedge funds Elliott and The Children’s Investment Fund, which have built small stakes in SAB, are thought to have told the brewer that the deal is now unsatisfactory. Other SAB investors have also made it known that they are unhappy with the takeover.

The complex two-part deal is deliberately designed to soften the tax hit that Altria and the Santo Domingo’s would take from an all-cash deal.

The two largest SAB shareholders are set to receive unlisted AB InBev stock and a small amount of cash, which was worth £39.03-per-SAB share when the takeover was first agreed in October. Other investors, who would find it unpalatable to hold the unlisted stock, are being offered an alternative £44 all-cash offer.

While the stock-and-cash offer was initially lower than the all-cash offer, because of sterling’s plunge following the Brexit vote it is now worth almost £50-a-share. As a result, Altria and the Santo Domingo’s are getting far better terms than what most other SAB investors stand to receive.

SAB declined to comment. Its shares closed down 10p at £44.19, but above the £44 level of the all-cash proposal, which suggests investors believe the stock is worth more than what AB InBev is offering.



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