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InBev makes $46.3B takeover offer for Anheuser-Busch

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Published: June 12, 2008 at 9:13 PM

It seems that the rumors about Belgian brewing giant InBev making a bid to buy Anheuser-Busch were not just rumors after all. According to a story in the June 12th Chicago Tribune, available at this link...

...the firm has made a $46.3 billion offer.

While the article makes mention that there could be "massive cutbacks" in store if the merger goes through, absolutely no mention is made of what might happen to Busch's Entertainment Division. In fact, no mention was made of the fact that the company even HAS such a division.

I don't know if this is good, bad, or indifferent. At this point, I would say let the speculation fly!

Readers' Opinions

From Rob P on June 13, 2008 at 4:50 AM
Not only that but the offer is in hard cash making it even tougher for A-B to resist.

If they do sell it'll be a shame because the A-B company is over 130 years old and is a worldwide brand with some pedigree.
Also it would create a potential for repercussions in all areas of the A-B portfolio including the Theme Parks.

Let's hope that, if the Belgians do buy in,they will continue to invest in that side of the business.But I have to say that imho, as a frequent visitor to Belgium,it doesn't bode well.

They do produce fantastic beer,serve the best Moules on the continent and possibly the best frites too. I just wish they would cheer up.I'd feel the Parks would be safer in the hands of happy folk.

I hope A-B reject the bid.

From Bruce Lane on June 13, 2008 at 7:26 AM
Ya know... Despite my feelings about the Sea World parks, I have to agree. Far too much of the country has fallen into foreign investor hands for my comfort. In fact, an Australian-based group wants to buy out our local energy utility (Puget Sound Energy). I don't think that one's going to fly, but the very fact that the threat was there to begin with is disturbing.

Is the Belgian culture truly so "anti-fun" as you describe? If so, perhaps that's why the do brew some of the best brews... They may not be having any real leisure-type fun any other way.

And if THAT's true, it is a horribly damaging mind-set. The more complex your mind is, the greater the need for the simplicity of play, and the threshold for "complex" is a lot lower than most people would probably like to believe (a friend of mine has seen a flock of ravens engaged in what could only have been play).

I have read that Augie Busch's ownership stake in the company is fairly low. This means that he could be under tremendous shareholder pressure to cave in and sell.

If he does decide to go that route, I would hope he spins off the Entertainment division first, mainly to get them out of harm's way.

Happy travels.

From Lee Mak on June 13, 2008 at 7:42 AM
if they reject the bid, they may not be able to dodge a take-over. Bids like this tend to make speculation around a major brand get shaky, prices drop, etc until the buyout occurs. I would be surprised if they reject the bid. Although AB has theme parks and the breweries, they all are a major backer for domestic micro-brewers, giving them a outlet of production and distribution until they buy themselves out of AB's control. Samuel Adams brewery started that way and now more recently Jimmy Buffett and the Landshark Lager...both using AB facitilies to produce their products and their trucks for distribution.

A foreign company will mostly likely not do this for American upstarts that would cut their market share.

Unfortunately, it seems like nothing is owned by Americans anymore, not even companies that were founded by Americans. We are selling ourselves too thin and are way too dependent on foreign investment. Most of Manhattan is owned by the Mid-East and Asia. Even the one of the most iconic buildings, the Chrysler, is owned by an Abu-Daubi investment group. Man, can we stop this madness.

The more real estate and companies foreign investors own, the more lobbyists they will have on our soil for their agendas, and we should be smart enough to know that more lobbyists equals more public policy being courted to Washington, making their foreign agenda american law.

Well, thats my tirade for the morning.
Glad I am not alone, here.
Now, back to work...all of you!
Maybe thats why don't own our country anymore
We are all too busy at theme parks and blogging : )

From Brian Emery on June 13, 2008 at 7:47 AM
http://www.savebudweiser.com/

Sign the petition..

From Michael Barkdoll on June 13, 2008 at 12:35 PM
This simply makes me sickā€¦to think that this Great American Company would be sold to a foreign company.

Check www.saveab.com and sign it too

From Gareth H on June 13, 2008 at 8:33 AM
Being a Brit in the US, I can strongley agree that letting outside investment in can be extremely damaging.
I look at back at the UK, read the Daily Mail, and see what a mess the UK is in, because of the same reasons.
The US goverment should be able to step up and offer somoe assistance to Bud so that a take over doesn't happen. With the layoffs in the and the obvious layoffs that will occur is this buy out/take over/merger occurs, the damage will be huge and the Goverment will lose out too.

Petition signed.

I'm off to SeaWorld tonight, might as well enjoy it while I can!

From Justin Spisto on June 13, 2008 at 11:36 AM
God, please no, I love the A-B parks the way they are. Busch does not need to do this, they already make enough profit.
From Derek Potter on June 13, 2008 at 2:23 PM
Here's a story update. Some of the print doesn't bode well for the theme park division

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=a1RrAaAvnEq0

Busch is in talks with Grupo Modelo to fully combine the two breweries in order to fight off the takeover. This would presumably prevent shareholders from wanting to sell. There are a lot of people up in arms about this one.

This is ultimately left up to the shareholders, not A-B. Here's to hoping that they don't sell

From Ted Heumann on June 17, 2008 at 12:40 PM
Why is everyone worried about a spun-off Busch Entertainment? Do they need AB? It isn't like Disney is spinning off it's theme parks. Disney's parks are an integral part of their business. But apart from the free beer and the horses, what do the Busch parks need from AB?
Can they not stand on their own? Do they need the capital from AB? Wouldn't they function better as a stand-alone company?
I would be concerned if they were sold, but there are NO buyers. Who has the money to buy these parks? I would suspect the price would be over $10 Billion. It would be easier and more economically feasible to spin it off with a stock sale. That way InBev could still maintain an ownership interest and make a boat-load of money in the process.
From Rachel Dixon on June 18, 2008 at 7:06 PM
It would be a truely sad time for me if AB sold their theme parks. They are some of the best ran and clean parks in the world. I say don't mess with a good thing. I am all for NOT SELLING!!!! I have passes to all the Florida AB Theme parks and go all the time and would hate to see them change.

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