Belgian beer giant confirms interest in Anheuser-Busch
InBev looking to purchase American owned Anheuser-Busch in hopes of creating the worlds leading beer company.
27 June 2008
BELGIUM - Belgian brewing giant InBev on Wednesday confirmed that it wanted to buy US-based brewer Anheuser-Busch after "extremely positive" market reactions to a 46-billion-USD proposal.
In a letter entitled "proposal for combination creating the world's leading beer company," InBev CEO Carlos Brito confirmed to Anheuser-Busch counterpart August A Busch IV that the Belgian giant would offer 65 USD a share to buy the American company.
That offer is 35 percent above the 30-day average share price and 18 percent above the highest-ever price for Anheuser shares, Brito wrote. InBev has already executed commitment letters and paid some 50 million USD in fees to a group of banks including Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and the Royal Bank of Scotland, he wrote.
The combined company, which would be the largest brewer in the world, would protect Anheuser's image by "evoking" its "heritage" and expanding the global reach of its leading beer, the US Budweiser (not to be confused with the Czech brew of the same name).
The "industry-transforming event" would also keep all Anheuser's US breweries open and retain Anheuser managers at all levels, Brito wrote.
InBev, which is currently the world's second-largest brewer by production, owns labels such as Stella Artois, Beck's, and Belgian big names Hoegaarden and Leffe.
Analysts say that the confirmation will put pressure on the world's largest brewer, SABMiller of Britain, to find international partners in order to keep its dominant position.