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SABMiller PLC - Investment in Birra Peroni

RNS Number:9130I
SABMiller PLC
23 February 2005

SABMILLER INCREASES INVESTMENT IN BIRRA PERONI


London and Johannesburg, 23 February 2005. SABMiller plc announces that it has
acquired a further 39.8% of Birra Peroni that it does not already own, for a
cash consideration of Euro162.5 million (US$212.6 million).  The agreement
follows
SABMiller's acquisition of a 60% stake in Birra Peroni completed in June 2003
for Euro246.0 million.


Under the terms of the original agreement announced in May 2003, SABMiller and
the shareholders of Birra Peroni entered into put and call options that, when
exercised, would result in SABMiller's ownership increasing to 99.8% from
December 2006.  The price payable under these put and call options was based on
an equity value of Euro410 million (for 100% of Birra Peroni) plus interest and
earn-out arrangements which were dependent on the future performance of the
business.


SABMiller and the minority shareholders in Birra Peroni have today agreed to
accelerate the share transfer process which has increased SABMiller's
shareholding to 99.8% at the price prescribed within the original agreement, and
simultaneously the parties have agreed to terminate the earn-out arrangements.
The acquisition was not subject to any conditions and has been financed from
existing resources.


Ends


Notes to editors:

SABMiller plc


SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers, with 2003/04 lager sales
volumes in excess of 137 million hectolitres.  It has a brewing presence in over
40 countries across four continents and a portfolio of strong brands and leading
market shares in many of the countries in which it has brewing operations.
Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola
products in the world.


In the year ended 31 March 2004, the group generated US$1,391million pre-tax
profit from a turnover of US$12,645 million.  SABMiller plc is listed on the
London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.


S.p.A. Birra Peroni

Birra Peroni S.p.A. is the second largest brewer in Italy with a 25% market
share.  Its portfolio of brands includes the number one beer brand in Italy,
Peroni; and Nastro Azzurro, the number three brand in the premium segment.  In
the year to 31 March 2004, Birra Peroni grew its volumes in line with the
overall market at approximately 6%.  In November 2003, Miller Genuine Draft was
introduced into the portfolio following the termination of the Anheuser-Busch
Budweiser contract.

This announcement is available on the SABMiller website, www.sabmiller.com

High resolution images are available for the media to view and download free of
charge from www.vismedia.co.uk


Enquiries:

                                                SABMiller plc          Tel: +44 20 7659 0100

Sue Clark                      Director of Corporate Affairs           Tel: +44 20 7659 0184

Gary Leibowitz                 Vice President, Investor Relations      Tel. +44 20 7659 0119

                                                                       Mob: +44 7717 428540

Nigel Fairbrass                Head of Media Relations                 Tel: +44 20 7659 0105

                                                                       Mob: +44 7799 894265


The release, publication or distribution of this announcement in certain
jurisdictions may be restricted by law and therefore persons in any such
jurisdictions into which this announcement is released, published or distributed
should inform themselves about, and observe, such restrictions.


This announcement contains statements about Birra Peroni S.p.A., SABMiller plc
('SABMiller') and members of the SABMiller group (together with SABMiller, the
'SABMiller Group') that are or may be forward looking statements.  All
statements other than statements of historical facts included in this
announcement may be forward looking statements.  Any statements preceded or
followed by or that include the words 'targets', 'plans', 'believes', 'expects',
'aims', 'intends', 'will', 'may', 'anticipates' or similar expressions or the
negative thereof are forward looking statements.  Forward looking statements
include statements relating to the following: (i) future capital expenditures,
expenses, revenues, economic performance, financial condition, dividend policy,
losses and future prospects; (ii) business and management strategies and the
expansion and growth of Birra Peroni or the SABMiller Group's operations; and
(iii) the effects of government regulation on Birra Peroni or the SABMiller
Group's business.


These forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties
and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or
achievements of any such person, or industry results, to be materially different
from any results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such
forward looking statements.  These forward looking statements are based on
numerous assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of
such persons and the environment in which each will operate in the future.  All
subsequent oral or written forward looking statements attributable to Birra
Peroni or any member of the SABMiller Group or any persons acting on their
behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statement
above.  Birra Peroni and the SABMiller Group expressly disclaim any obligation
or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking
statements contained herein to reflect any change in their expectations with
regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any
such statement is based.


                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
END

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