Beer fight in court as Anheuser-Busch sues InBev

10th July 2008, Comments 0 comments

The US beer company has asked a federal court to block a takeover bid by the Belgian brewery.

10 July 2008

WASHINGTON - US beermaker Anheuser-Busch asked a federal court to block a takeover bid by Belgian brewery InBev, calling it "illegal" and "misleading" to shareholders, reports said Wednesday.

According to a complaint in St Louis, Missouri, federal court, Anheuser-Busch said InBev made "numerous false and misleading statements" about how it would finance the acquisition and cut costs.

The US beermaker also said InBev had not been forthcoming about its operations in Cuba. The complaint noted that US laws prohibit businesses in Cuba from being managed from this country.

Anheuser-Busch, the maker of the 132-year-old Budweiser beer, rejected InBev's USD 46.3-billion offer on 26 June, saying it undervalued the company.

On Monday, InBev sharpened its takeover bid by pushing shareholders to oust the Anheuser-Busch board. The Leuven, Belgium-based brewer said in a submission to the US stock regulatory agency that it would try to use a special process provided in Anheuser-Busch's bylaws to derail any resistance.

The bylaw allows shareholders to elect a new board without meeting physically, InBev said in its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The attempt to replace Anheuser-Busch directors with "InBev's hand-picked nominees is a self-serving effort by InBev to try to purchase Anheuser-Busch for a price Anheuser-Busch's independent board already has determined to be financially inadequate," the company said in a statement quoted by Bloomberg financial news service.

The bid by InBev, producer of brands Stella Artois and Beck's, is the equivalent of USD 65 per share for Anheuser-Busch. If successful it would be the largest cash takeover ever.

[dpa / Expatica]

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