The Business On... Graham Mackay, chief executive, SAB Miller

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The Independent Online

Celebrating something?

Almost. Shareholders in the beer giant Fosters yesterday approved the sale of their company to SAB, just days after the Australian government signed it off. The deal just needs to be rubber-stamped by the Supreme Court of Victoria and Mr Mackay will have netted his prize.


Indeed. Mr Mackay has been chasing the company since June and was initially forced to make a hostile bid. Foster's board finally recommended SAB's £6.5bn offer in September.

Time for a beer then?

Pick your poison – Peroni, Miller, Grolsch or maybe a Castle?

What about the obvious?

If you mean Fosters itself, SAB isn't actually buying that brand, at least not in Europe, where it is owned by Heineken.

So tell us about Mr Mackay

He's a South African who has been with the company for more than 30 years – right back when it was humble South African Breweries. He masterminded its transformation through a series of aggressive takeovers, as well as the disposal of a diverse range of businesses ranging from hotels to a subsidiary making windscreens.

Any personal insights?

He's not keen on the limelight – or of having his photo taken. Now 62, he shows no signs of wanting to step down, though you'd forgive the man a rest – he has six sons from two marriages and relishes his family life.

Any controversies?

He ruffled a few feathers last year by warning SAB was considering moving its London domicile for tax reasons, though that threat seems to have gone away.