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Anheuser-Busch Sold To InBev For $52B

From an elated outraged Associated Press:

Anheuser-Busch being sold to InBev for $52B

By AOIFE WHITE and CHRISTOPHER LEONARD, AP Business Writers

BRUSSELS, Belgium – The maker of the King of Beers has agreed to go to work for the Belgian brewer InBev SA.

Anheuser Busch Cos. said early Monday it had agreed to a sweetened $52 billion takeover bid from InBev, creating the world’s largest brewer and heading off what was shaping up as an acrimonious fight for the maker of Budweiser and Bud Light beers.

The deal, which would also create the third-largest consumer product company, will be called Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The Anheuser-Busch board accepted the higher takeover offer Sunday night from Belgian-based brewer InBev SA, according to a joint press release…

InBev said it plans to use St. Louis as its North American headquarters, and that it will keep open all 12 of Anheuser-Busch’s North American breweries.

It has not said whether it will cut more jobs on top of the 1,185 positions Anheuser-Busch already said it wants to shed — mostly by offering early retirement.

It will, however, sell off "noncore assets" from both companies to raise some $7 billion to finance the deal. It will also borrow $45 billion and may sell shares to raise another $9.8 billion.

Shareholders won’t see much joy in the short-term. InBev warned of lower dividends and no benefit to earnings per share until 2010…

Few products are associated with America as much as Budweiser, which its owner calls the King of Beers. Its Clydesdale horses are fixtures of Super Bowl ads, and even the label is red, white and blue, with an eagle swooping through the "A."

To some in St. Louis, losing Anheuser-Busch to a foreign buyer meant losing a little bit of history. From college buildings to theme parks to offices to the stadium where the Cardinals play baseball, the Busch name is virtually everywhere in the Gateway City.

Despite more than 600 years of brewing beer in Belgium, InBev is more rootless. Although based in Leuven, Belgium, it is run by a Brazilian management team and sells most of its beer outside Europe.

It owns a massive portfolio of local brands from Siberia to Argentina that rarely travel. InBev has only recently started to push its two best-known brands — Stella Artois and Beck’s — more widely.

Another national icon sold that our media can point to as an example of our decline as a nation. (Especially with the McCain connection.)

Of course this is really more about the growth of the global economy — which the media normally champions.

But never mind that.

Hey, maybe they will start producing drinkable beer.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 14th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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