The embattled King of America’s Brewing companies, Anheuser-Busch, gave a strong ‘No’ to InBev’s generous buyout offer, but that has only led the Belgian brand to throw down the gauntlet and basically respond ‘Are you sure you wanna play this game?’
Today InBev responded to the Bud Brand’s hasty rejection, with a very ‘hostile takeover’-ish attitude.
First off InBev said it was “surprised” that it had to hear about A-B’s rejection via THE PRESS, and not from some friendly e-mail exchange, corporate memo, or jovial voice mail (I’m sure A-B is rolling their eyes and saying ‘get real’ to that claim).
Secondly, they responded to A-B’s claim that the deal was “financially inadequate” by proving that their $65/share offer is 18% higher than A-B’s previous all-time high from way back in October of 2002.
And lastly, A-B had said they would “cut costs and boost earnings growth in order to win shareholder support to stay independent”. InBev shot back with a nonchalant “That plan has significant execution risks.”
Do you smell that?! That’s a massive burn, my friends.
So there we have it, InBev will not be backing away from this deal anytime soon. They are in it to win it. And despite all the ‘fake’ claims of Warren Buffett wanting to get involved, and threats from Missouri politicians, InBev keeps taking the hits and coming back for seconds.
Today’s Associated Press article gives more light to the steps InBev is taking:
The Belgium-based maker of Stella Artois and Beck’s has already set the stage for a hostile takeover battle by saying it would “pursue all available avenues that would allow Anheuser-Busch shareholders a direct vote.”Last week, it filed a lawsuit seeking a declaration that shareholders could oust the company’s 13 board members without cause.
InBev made no move to raise its offer, saying it gives shareholders an immediate cash premium of 35 percent above the 30-day average share price prior to recent market speculation.
InBev has basically realized the time is now ripe for these major beer consolidation deals to take place, as scary as they sound. But with A-B dominating revenue in the U.S. with 48% of all beer sales, InBev is definitely licking their lips to get a piece of it.
Besides, look at how A-B is implementing these cost-cutting measures to stay independent: they are cutting jobs in St. Louis because they were afraid InBev would take over and cut jobs in St. Louis. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Personally, we here at WSF think A-B is pretty cool. Remember when their head Brewmaster responded with a personal rebuttal to one of our beer skunking articles? I can’t see some Belgian brewer going through that effort.
This should be an interesting summer for news on this deal. Stay tuned for more drunken fireworks!
AP: InBev to keep pursuing Anheuser deal despite rebuff, July 1, 2008