(AGI) London, Oct 13 - SABMiller, the world's second-largestbeer producer, announced on Thursday it had accepted the new 96billion euro purchase offer by Anheuser-Busch InBev, thesector's number one beermaker worldwide. SABMiller had refusedits rival's fourth offer last week, judging it too low, andsubsequently accepted the last bid, as it contained slightlybetter economic conditions: price per share was raised from43.50 to 44 dollars, a 50 percent premium to SAB's share pricea month ago. The two boards reached an agreement afterInBev threatened to launch a hostile takeover and turn directlyto the shareholders. Including the debt of the British group,which lists Italy's Peroni among its brands, the value of theoffer (all in cash) by the Belgian-Brazilian giant amounts to117 billion dollars, making it one of the biggest acquisitionsin history, behind the subsequently failed marriage betweenTime Warner and AOL and to the one between Vodafone-Mannesmannand Verizon-Cellco. The last-minute deal was signed justbefore the legal deadline, following which InBev would have hadto withdraw the offer without presenting a new one for at leastsix months. The transaction was performed in a phase in whichtraditional beermakers are spurred to merge in order to facecompetition from the growing popularity of artisanal beers andthe relentless drop in sales in emerging markets, which broughtInBev, the owner of beer brands like Corona and Stella Artois,to close the second quarter of this year with a steep drop inprofit. (AGI) . .