It required a little bit of coaxing and some threats of a hostile takeover, but in the end all it really took was an increased offer. The final offer went from a previous $65 a share ($46.3 billion total) to the deal-sealing $70 a share, creating a $52 billion takeover price tag.
The new company, to be called “Anheuser-Busch InBev” is easily the largest beer producer and brewer in the world, surpassing SABMiller (which is in itself a combined combined company consisting of South African Brewers, America’s Miller Brewing Company and recently America’s Coors Company and Molson of Canada).
All the lawsuits and political reaction to removing the American brand (including vocal opposition to the takeover coming from Barack Obama) will be for naught, as it turns out this deal was bound to happen as long as the right price was met.
The new company plans to leave St. Louis as the head of its American operations and will place August Busch IV, the former CEO, as one of two A-B members on the board of directors of the merged company. (+ more after jump)
But lest we forget that the Anheuser-Busch brand itself was a product of a major takeover/merger of two Midwestern brewing families back in the 1860s. Who is to say that this new combination will change the brand’s product? I’m just hoping they bring back the Budweiser frogs, or at least those ‘Wassssup’ guys. Come on, it’s been long enough without them. They’ll become ‘retro cool’ again.
Feel free to go home and mix up the latest A-B InBev concoction:
1 part Budweiser
1 part Michelob
1 part Bud Light
2 muddled servings of Stella Artois
3 parts Beck’s with a twist
+ All the hopes and dreams of the people of St. Louis
– Adolphus “The Traitor” Busch IV
= Becoming the world’s #1 brewer with over $36 Billion a year in combined sales
NYT: Anheuser-Busch Agrees to be sold for $53 Billion, July 15, 2008