Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's now a matter of dollars and euros at Anheuser-Busch

You know things are happening, or rather, already have happened, when a story appears in the Washington Post.poster photo courtesy of

Belgian Brewer InBev is offering a big payday to shareholders of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., but its bid to create the world's largest beer company is already facing a major obstacle — U.S. election-year politics.

InBev SA, whose brands include Beck's and Stella Artois, delivered an unsolicited all-cash bid of $65 a share for Anheuser-Busch, which makes Budweiser, Michelob and Bud Light. That's well above the St. Louis-based company's closing share price of $58.35 Wednesday.

I do find it ironic that is a Republican official —Missouri Governor Matt Blunt— who is threatening governmental interference with the free practice of enterprise.
Republican Gov. Matt Blunt said Wednesday he opposes the deal, and directed the Missouri Department of Economic Development to see if there was a way to stop it.

"I am strongly opposed to the sale of Anheuser-Busch, and today's offer to purchase the company is deeply troubling to me," Blunt said in a statement.

Web sites have sprung up opposing the deal on patriotic grounds, arguing that such an iconic U.S. firm shouldn't be handed over to foreign ownership. One of the sites, called, was launched by Blunt's former chief of staff, Ed Martin.

"Shareholders should resist choosing dollars over American jobs," Martin said in a statement Wednesday night. "Selling out to the Belgians is not worth it — because this is about more than beer: it's about our jobs and our nation."

the remainder of the Associated Press story from which the Post wrote its.

As of this morning (Thursday 12 June), A-B stock is at $63.23, up 8% over yesterday. From the Morning Brief at the Wall Street Journal:
The Belgian-Brazilian brewing conglomerate InBev is going after Anheuser-Busch and its Budweiser empire. The offer of $46.4 billion, or $65 a share, amounts to a 14% premium over Anheuser's closing share price on Tuesday, though InBev says it represents a 35% premium over the 30-day average for Anheuser stock before deal speculation boosted the price, as The Wall Street Journal reports. A takeover by the world's No. 2 brewer in terms of volume of the No. 3 would supplant British-based SABMiller as largest global purveyor of beer, with a combined annual net sales total of about $36 billion.

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