BEER GIANT SAB WINS APPROVAL FOR MILLER ACQUISITION

Philip Morris Gets $5.6 Billion and Stake in World's 2nd-Largest Brewer

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BOSTON (AdAge.com) -- The long-awaited union of Miller Brewing Co. and South African Breweries moved ahead today following the deal's approval by SAB shareholders as well as clearance by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

The deal could close as early as July 10.

Second-largest brewer
The acquisition

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Merger Could Create World's Largest Brewer
would create the world's second-largest brewer after Anheuser-Busch Cos. It gives SAB, whose largest markets are in Asia and Africa, access to the U.S. beer market while presumably expanding Miller and its brands overseas.

Miller is part of the Philip Morris Cos., which will receive $5.6 billion in the deal and a stake in the new entity.

Declining sales
For the past several years, No. 2 brewer in the U.S. has been unable to get its marketing and advertising to resonate with the key 20-something male beer drinker, which has resulted in lost market share and declining sales.

Talk of a sale had been rumored for months. Onlookers say Miller's moribund plight might improve with ownership by a brewer rather than tobacco and food behemoth Philip Morris, though PM had been trying to change Miller's fortunes for the past decade.

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