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08.2008

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedOnBeerReport

INTRODUCING Anheuser-Busch InBev

THE BELGIAN BREWER InBev will buy Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion, the companies announced on July 14.  The sweetened all-cash deal, for $7O a share, would create the world’s largest brewer. Together, the two companies would have sales of more than $36 billion a year, surpassing the current No.1 brewer, SABMiller of London.
Carlos Brito, InBev’s chief executive, will head the combined company, which will be named Anheuser-Busch InBev, fulfilling a promise by the Belgian company to include the Anheuser name in the new brewer’s title. The company’s North American headquarters will be in St. Louis, Missouri, where Anheuser is based.
Anheuser will be given two seats on the board, including one for August A. Busch IV, the company’s chief executive and a scion of its controlling family.
InBev pledged to keep Budweiser as the new company’s flagship brand and St. Louis as its North American headquarters.
One unresolved matter, however, is Anheuser’s ties to Grupo Modelo, the Mexican brewer of Corona. Through Anheuser’s stake in Modelo, the Mexican company has both a right to approve a change in control and the right of first refusal to buy back Anheuser’s 5O percent holding.

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