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SABMiller PLC - Termination of Amstel Licence

RNS Number:8211S
13 March 2007

13 March 2007


SABMiller's subsidiary, The South African Breweries Limited, ('SAB' or 'the
company'), has been given notice by Heineken that it is terminating SAB's
licence to manufacture and distribute Amstel Lager with immediate effect.

This move follows a private arbitration held recently to determine whether
Heineken was entitled to terminate the Amstel trade mark licence. The
arbitration panel found that SABMiller's transaction in South America in 2005
constituted a material change in shareholding of the SABMiller group which could
be regarded as inimical to the interests of the Heineken group, thus giving rise
to the right to terminate the licence.

SAB will consequently move to bolster its competitive position in the South
African premium segment by drawing upon SABMiller's global portfolio of brands
and the wealth of experience and expertise it has built up in the market. The
company is already pursuing a number of initiatives which will mitigate the
impact of the licence termination, including extending SAB's reach into direct
distribution and broadening its premium offerings. The bulk of Amstel's sales,
like most beer sales in South Africa, are in returnable bottles, requiring a
capability which SAB is uniquely positioned to provide.

Sales volumes of Amstel currently represent approximately 2.3mhl or 9% of beer
sales volumes in South Africa. The sales of the Amstel brand will constitute
approximately US$300m of SA Beverages' revenues for the year ending 31 March
2007 based on an average exchange rate of ZAR7.03 = US$1.00. SABMiller estimates
that any impact on the group's earnings in the current financial year will be

For the 2008 financial year, and going forward, the company expects to mitigate
the financial impact on its earnings of the Amstel licence termination through
the actions and initiatives referred to above. Nevertheless there will still be
a negative financial impact. In the current financial year, on a pro-forma
basis, SABMiller expects that this would have been some US$80m of EBITA,
equivalent to pro-forma earnings of approximately 3.0 US cents per SABMiller
share. SABMiller would expect the impact in the next financial year to be of the
same order.

Commenting on the termination of the licence, Graham Mackay, SABMiller chief
executive, said:

'Whilst we are surprised by the outcome of the arbitration, our consumers remain
our first priority and we are confident of our continuing ability to provide
them with a comprehensive choice of superior and differentiated brands, backed
by our strong marketing and distribution capabilities.'


Notes to editors:

About SABMiller plc

SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests or
distribution agreements in over 60 countries across six continents. The group's
brands include premium international beers such as Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni
Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as an exceptional range of market
leading local brands. Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is also one of the largest
bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.

In the year ended 31 March 2006, the group reported US$15,307 million in revenue
and profit before tax of $2,453 million.  SABMiller plc is listed on the London
and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

This announcement can be found on


SABMiller plc                                          Tel: +44 20 7659 0100

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

Gary Leibowitz     Senior VP, Investor Relations       Tel: +44 20 7659 0119

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

This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or issue or the
solicitation of an offer to buy or acquire securities of SABMiller plc (the
'Company') or any of its affiliates in any jurisdiction or an inducement to
enter into investment activity.

This document includes 'forward-looking statements'. These statements may
contain the words 'anticipate', 'believe', 'intend', 'estimate', 'expect' and
words of similar meaning. All statements other than statements of historical
facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those
regarding the Company's financial position, business strategy, plans and
objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and
objectives relating to the Company's products and services) are forward-looking
statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other important factors that could cause the actual results,
performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from
future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on
numerous assumptions regarding the Company's present and future business
strategies and the environment in which the Company will operate in the future.
These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this announcement.
The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any
updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this
announcement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations with regard
thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such
statement is based.

Any information contained in this announcement on the price at which the
Company's securities have been bought or sold in the past, or on the yield on
such securities, should not be relied upon as a guide to future performance.

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


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