Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bud to be sold? part 2

When I wrote yesterday about rumors of a pending sale of Anheuser-Busch to international beer conglomerate InBev ...

I would think it more likely that Anheuser-Busch will purchase InBev.

... Blogger Stonch asked me why.
I can't see why you'd see it more likely that A-B would acquire InBev as opposed to the other way around. InBev is the larger company by some margin, and certainly the one that's better bedded down in the global beer market.

Good points: I gulped hard.

Whatever I may feel about the flavor of its beers, Anheuser-Busch is indeed the last surviving wholly American-owned brewery of international standing. I wouldn't want it to disappear as such. There are other American breweries dating from Prohibition or before such as F.X. Matt, Shiner, August-Schell, Yuengling, Anchor, but none of these are substantial international players.

This is patent American jingoism on my part, an emotion we in the States may have to shed in the coming new world order. But that being stipulated, I believe that, if there is to be a merger, it will be Anheuser-Busch buying InBev rather than the other way around. Here's why.
  • Budweiser and Bud Light are the two best-selling beers in the world. InBev's Stella Artois and Becks? I don't think so!
  • A-B has expanded its international business by 20% over the last 7 years.
  • A-B concentrates on developing its own brands. Although there is overlap in their strategies, InBev and SABMiller have grown more by acquisition.
  • A-B's operating revenues per barrel are 60% greater than that that of InBev. Its margin per barrel is $62 versus $50 per barrel for InBev.
Simply put, Anheuser-Busch is of greater real value.

And then, there's this:
Anheuser-Busch Chairman August Busch IV said last month that he wouldn't allow the brewer to be sold

The Busches are ferocious competitors. We in the US craft beer business know that firsthand.

1 comment:

  1. Good points in response. I didn't realise A-B was so much more profitable than InBev.

    One point I'd make in response to your first is that although Bud outsells the world's number two beer - Heineken - it doesn't do so if you exclude the two beers' respective home countries from the equation. In other words, Bud's position is shored up by being bedded down in the massive US market.


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