Saturday, January 17, 2009

Once more into the Bud

After InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch, global decision-making was reserved to offices in Leuven, Belgium, while North American operations remained in St. Louis, Missouri.

This week, however, Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABIB) —as the new brewing behemoth is named— announced that it was opening an office in New York City to handle some of those global operations. As some jobs will be lost in Belgium, the move could be perceived as fair turnaround.

But the bigger picture may be that this hastens the end for St. Louis as a brewing center.

Will an international conglomerate really keep two North American offices, one in a Midwestern city (even if large and vital) and one in the financial capital (or would that be bail-out capital) of the world?

If that doesn't seem a likely scenario, it won't be St. Louis that retains the operational headquarters.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, said this week that a New York office will take on some of the management of its global operations now handled by its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. The company said the move makes sense because the U.S. now generates 40 percent of AB InBev's earnings.

A-B InBev looks to N.Y.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Then again ... if ABIB were to move more and more of its bigwigs and suits to New York City, USA ... how would that affect the Belgian or Brazilian (the other third of the conglomerate) segments of the company?

It's only a small story but, yet, it is another alteration to the world's beer map.

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