SABMiller Plc’s failure to erect a defense against Anheuser-Busch InBev NV by combining with Heineken NV has left the world’s second-largest brewer even more vulnerable to a takeover by the industry leader.

Heineken said yesterday that it rejected an approach from London-based SABMiller, an overture that intended to help fend off a possible bid for the Miller Lite maker by AB InBev, according to people with knowledge of the matter. SABMiller is assessing its next move, the people said, yet its options are now more limited and the ball is in the Belgian giant’s court to move forward with a long-speculated takeover.

Subscribe Now

Complete access to real-time information and analysis of news and trends in the industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.