InBev To Acquire Anheuser-Busch

The news that international beverage giant InBev was planning to acquire St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch has been non-stop news in St. Louis for some time now:

The $46.3 billion bid Wednesday for Anheuser-Busch Cos. by global brewing giant InBev NV is the first step of a long-rumored deal that would make InBev the U.S. beer kingpin, but one that could lead to huge cost cuts at the venerable purveyor of Budweiser.

The sale of St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch would be the biggest deal yet in a wave of consolidation that has swept the global beer industry in recent years, the result of slow sales growth in mature markets and an insatiable drive to cut costs.

InBev’s bid of $65 per share is an 11 percent premium over Anheuser-Busch’s closing price of $58.35 Wednesday. The stock jumped over 7 percent in after-hours trading, to almost $63. Anheuser-Busch shares had been trading as low as $46 earlier this year and were just above $50 in May when rumors of an InBev bid were reignited.

In one way, the two companies would be a good fit, in that they do not have much geographic overlap. But the cultures and reputations of the companies are very different, analysts say. While Anheuser-Busch is known for its marketing skills, InBev is renowned for its cost-cutting prowess.

The extended Busch family still owns a good deal of A-B’s stock and a number of them are completely dependent on that stock for income. I suspect they decided that the $65 per share was the best they could expect.

I also suspect that folks in St. Louis are on pins and needles over the acquisition. St. Louis’s economy has been under considerable assault in recent decades. Once known for “shoes and booze”, the shoe industry left St. Louis in the 1970’s. McDonnell-Douglas was acquired by Boeing; Trans-World by American Airlines; Ralston-Purina by Nestle.

Now booze, too, is on the block and many are wondering whether the cuts will mean major job losses in St. Louis. I wonder if there isn’t room for hope. Is it possible that Belgian (actually Brazilian) InBev is seeking to flee a restrictive regulatory environment and actually become an American company? Stay tuned!

3 comments… add one
  • Daphne Link

    I have a 1892 bronze plate. I am interested in its value (sales value). I understand that it was used t0 adverstice prior to electricity.

  • Terry Botnen Link

    what does it look like. does it say ” compliments of adolphus busch”
    across the top with picture of a horseman blowing a trumpet?

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