Monday, July 14, 2008

A-B agrees to InBev buyout

Anheuser-Busch has agreed to be bought by InBev, which sweetened its original $65/share offer to $70.

The deal would create the world's largest brewer and the third-largest consumer product company under the name of Anheuser-Busch InBev. [...]

For InBev, the maker of Stella Artois and Beck's, the deal gives an aggressive company an iconic beer brand — Budweiser — to sell into emerging markets such as China and Brazil where it has already established a firm footprint.

InBev is the world's second-largest beer-maker, narrowly behind SABMiller. Swallowing Anheuser-Busch sees it leap ahead, capturing half of the U.S. beer market and a fifth of China and Russia.

InBev says they will sell off some "noncore" assets (e.g., Busch Gardens?) to help finance the purchase.

This might be further bad news for media, since A-B has always been a big spender in advertising, especially sports marketing, while InBev has a reputation for being more conservative. Time will tell on that, and on whether trade promo tactics will change.

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