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[07/14/08] - InBev to buy Anheuser-Busch for $52 Billion

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  • [07/14/08] - InBev to buy Anheuser-Busch for $52 Billion



    ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) -- Belgian brewer InBev has announced it will buy its U.S. rival Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion to create the world's largest brewer.

    The acquisition means control over America's largest brewer, the No. 2 worldwide, moves overseas. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Anheuser-Busch has more than 48 percent of American market share with brands that include Bud Light.

    InBev confirmed the details of the purchase of Anheuser-Busch early Monday. It first bid for Anheuser-Busch on June 11.

    InBev is the world's second largest beer maker, with brands that include Stella Artois and Becks.

    The deal must be approved by shareholders and European and U.S. antitrust regulators. The merger will produce the fourth-largest consumer product company worldwide.

    Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. did not return messages seeking comment Sunday evening.

    The Wall Street Journal said the deal was for $70 a share, a $5 increase over the offer Anheuser-Busch rejected in June.

    It wasn't immediately clear how long approval might take from regulators and shareholders. Several Missouri politicians have expressed concerns about the merger -- especially how it would affect the approximate 6,000 people employed by Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis.

    InBev has said it plans to use St. Louis as its North American headquarters, and that it will keep open all 12 of Anheuser-Busch's North American breweries.

    InBev SA announced its intent to purchase Anheuser-Busch on June 11. The Anheuser-Busch board initially voted against the merger, calling the initial $65 per share offer too low.

    That prompted much squabbling between the companies over the past few weeks. InBev filed a motion seeking the removal of all 13 Anheuser-Busch board members; Anheuser-Busch filed suit calling the InBev effort an "illegal scheme" that threatened to defraud Anheuser-Busch shareholders. Among other things, the suit noted that InBev failed to disclose it operates a brewery in Cuba.

    So it was with some surprise when reports surfaced on Friday that the two companies were sitting down for merger talks, reportedly after InBev upped its offer by $5 to $70 per share.

    The merger, if completed, will bring to an end to one of the most iconic names in U.S. business and a name synonymous with St. Louis. From college buildings to offices to the stadium where the Cardinals play, the Busch name is virtually everywhere in the Gateway City.

    Eberhard Anheuser acquired the Bavarian brewery in 1860 and renamed it E. Anheuser & Co. His son-in-law, Adolphus Busch, joined the company in 1864 and it was eventually renamed Anheuser-Busch.

    The company survived Prohibition by selling products ranging from ice cream to root beer.

    In addition to opposition from politicians and civic leaders, at least two Web sites sprung up opposing the merger. SaveBudweiser.com claims to have more than 60,000 signatures from merger opponents. SaveAB.com hosted a recent anti-merger rally that drew hundreds to downtown St. Louis.

    InBev has not said if layoffs will occur as a result of the merger. But some cutbacks seem likely.

    Even without the merger, Anheuser-Busch said last month it planned to cut pension and health benefits for salaried employees as part of an effort to slash $1 billion in costs by the end of 2010. The plan called for offering early retirement to 1,300 salaried workers 55 and older.
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    The cost-cutting effort -- dubbed "Blue Ocean" by the company -- was part of a strategy to fend off the merger.

    The beer industry has been consolidating in recent years amid rising costs for transportation fuel and key ingredients.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/07/14/anh....ap/index.html

  • #2
    damn that means the Anheuser's and Busch's are getting at least 26 billion..must b fucking nice

    Comment


    • #3
      Heard about this on the Colbert Report, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal.

      Comment


      • #4
        Belgian Beer > *

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