Anheuser-Busch $46 Billion Belgian Buyout Bid
InBev, a Belgian firm, has offered to buy Anheuser-Busch for $46 billion.
Anheuser-Busch Cos., the nation’s biggest brewery, received a $46 billion buyout offer Wednesday from a Belgian brewer that might be too good to refuse.
The maker of Budweiser beer disclosed late Wednesday that InBev SA, whose brands include Beck’s and Stella Artois, delivered an unsolicited all-cash bid of $65 a share. It’s unclear whether senior Anheuser-Busch executives think the deal makes sense, but shareholders may be drawn to the offer that represents a sizable premium over the company’s closing price of $58.35 Wednesday.
It’s astounding that company from the country that arguably makes the finest beers available on the planet is interested in buying the brewer of Budweiser at a premium. But business is business. Except when it isn’t:
Opposition to a potential takeover has already been fierce in Anheuser-Busch’s hometown of St. Louis, and elsewhere in the U.S. The brewer employs 6,000 people in St. Louis, and many workers are worried InBev will cut jobs as the companies consolidate.
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. 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.
“Like baseball, apple pie and ice cold beer (wrapped in a red, white and blue label), Anheuser-Busch is an American original,” the site says.
Interestingly, Anheuser-Busch is the U.S. distributor for many of the InBev brands, including Beck’s and Stella. Indeed, I didn’t even realize they distributed Widmer Hefeweizen and Leffe Blonde, two of my favorites.