The cash proposal represented a premium of approximately 44 percent to SABMiller's closing share price of £29.34 on 14 September. The group said it expected most SABMiller shareholders to accept the higher cash offer. Altria, SABMiller's largest shareholder with a 27 percent stake, said it supported the proposal.
Nonetheless, in a statement issued at 1pm London time, the brewer's board "excluding the directors nominated by Altria Group Inc".had turned down the proposal as it "still very substantially undervalues SABMiller, its unique and unmatched footprint, and its standalone prospects."
However, Andrew Holland, European and US beverage research analyst at Societe Generale expected the offer to be upped further to £44 per share. He expected shareholders to back discussions for a deal. "I think we're getting very much closer to the endgame."
"This is a pretty good deal for SAB shareholders. It's a rich premium from the close-end stock price before the deal was rumored," Philip Gorham, senior equity analyst at Morningstar told CNBC. "It represents great value for SAB shareholders and I think it's about as high as AB InBev can go."
Shares in SABMiller rose 1.1 percent in lunchtime trading in Europe, while AB InBev gained 2 percent.