Earlier this year, when American brewery Anheuser-Busch was vigorously opposed to a takeover by brewing conglomerate InBev, Auggie Busch IV would bluster —figuratively, if not literally— "No way, no how, no InBev." On Thursday, the company, known for brands like Corona and
We know now that his threats were mere bluster. Inbev purchased the company without any real resistance.
At the time, one of Anheuser-Busch's (A-B) proposed strategies was to double its shares of Mexico's Grupo Modelo from 50% to the entire thing. (Among other beers, Modelo produces Corona.) A 'poison pill', this purchase would have loaded A-B with more debt than InBev might have wanted to swallow.
So, Inbev threatened to sue, and A-B backed off.
Now that the sale of A-B to Inbev is all but done, Grupo Modelo is itself threatening to sue. It is asserting both that Mexican law prohibits the complete transfer of what can be perceived of as national assets and that its own stockholders have the right of first refusal.
Grupo Modelo seeks to block Anheuser-Busch, InBev
By Emily Fredrix
Oct 16, 2008
Disputing the merits of both claims, Anheuser-Busch replied that
On Thursday, the company, known for brands like Corona and, said <...> the agreement [with Anheuser-Busch] means its own shareholders should first have the opportunity to buy the shares in Modelo and its subsidiary, Diblo, which would be transferred by Anheuser-Busch to InBev. Anheuser-Busch's roughly 50 percent stake in the company is non-controlling.
it would "vigorously contest such claims," though it did not say how.
Of course, this may depend upon how vigorous A-B's definition of vigorous is.
When first we practise to deceive!
Sir Walter Scott