Anheuser-Busch agrees to US$52bn takeover by InBev

14 July, 2008
The US brewing giant accepts takeover after InBev ups its offer to US$70 a share.
Anheuser-Busch, the largest US brewer with a 48 per cent share of the market, has agreed to be taken over by the Belgian based brewer, InBev for US$52bn.The Budweiser company agreed to the deal at a board meeting yesterday (Sunday) after InBev, which owns brands such as Stella Artois, Becks, Leffe and Hoegaarden, increased its offer by US$5 to US$70 a share.InBev agreed to call the new company, Anheuser-Busch InBev and for the A-B headquarters in St Louis, Missouri, to become headquarters of the company's North American region and global home of the flagship Budweiser brand.InBev CEO, Carlos Brito will be chief executive officer of the new company and the board of directors will comprise the existing InBev board directors, plus A-B president and CEO August Busch IV and one other current or former A-B director. The combined company will be the global leader in beer and one of the world's top five consumer products companies. It will have leading positions in the world's top five markets – China, US, Russia, Brazil and Germany. A-B owns 50 per cent of Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer and owner of Corona Extra, the number five beer brand globally and 27 per cent of Tsingtao, the leading Chinese brewer. InBev's Chinese interests are in the south east of the country while A-B's strength is in the north east.InBev is the number one brewer in 10 markets where Budweiser has a limited presence and has a “superior footprint” in nine markets where Budweiser is present.The deal which should be completed by the end of the year, is being financed with US$45bn of debt and it is estimated that the merging of the companies will yield cost savings of at least US$1.5bn annually by 2011.