UPDATE 1-Distell top investor awaits SABMiller response to stake sale demand

miércoles 1 de junio de 2016 13:49 GYT

* Remgro says to consider its rights related to SAB stake sale Remgro reportedly has preemptive right to stake

* Distell says sale will not affect operations (Adds background, context)

By Zimasa Mpemnyama and Martinne Geller

JOHANNESBURG/LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - Distell's main shareholder Remgro said it would act in the best interests of its own shareholders and those of the South African drinks company in response to the enforced sale of fellow investor SABMiller's stake.

South Africa's Competition Commission made one of the conditions for Anheuser-Busch InBev's acquisition of brewer SABMiller for more than $100 billion that SABMiller must sell its 26.4 percent Distell holding, which is worth around $565 million based on its current market value.

Anheuser-Busch InBev's acquisition is set to be approved by the United States later this month, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

Investment firm Remgro, which owns 52.8 percent of Distell, said on Wednesday that it would await SABMiller's response "with due consideration to the rights they have". It did not specify what rights it had relating to Distell or any sale of SABMiller's stake, and Reuters was unable to reach the company for clarification.

Late last year Remgro's chief executive told Bloomberg News that it had a pre-emptive right over SABMiller's 26.4 percent holding in Distell, which sells wine, spirits and ciders, and that it would consider exercising it if the price were right.

Bernstein analysts said they believed AB InBev would have disposed of the Distell stake anyway, but did not expect to see it among the merger conditions.   Continuación...