Make us your home page
Instagram

Anheuser-Busch sale approved

The distinctly American Anheuser-Busch brand soon will belong to Belgium-based InBev.

Associated Press

The distinctly American Anheuser-Busch brand soon will belong to Belgium-based InBev.

Shareholders of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. approved the $52-billion sale of the business to Belgium's InBev SA on Wednesday.

The deal, which is expected to close by year's end, would create the world's largest brewer and is expected to trigger the sale of Anheuser-Busch's theme park unit. That includes Busch Gardens Africa and Adventure Island in Tampa.

Combined, the 10 Busch parks and its recycling business could be worth up to $5-billion, analysts have said.

Wednesday's vote was the latest step necessary to form the company that will be known as Anheuser-Busch InBev and combine brands such as Bud Light and Budweiser with Stella Artois and Beck's. The deal is subject to regulatory approval in the United States, Britain and China.

August A. Busch IV, Anheuser-Busch's president and chief executive, said the decision to sell the nation's largest brewer was a difficult one.

"Every alternative was considered," he told shareholders at the meeting just outside of New York. "In the end, we all agreed the InBev proposal was in the best interest of you, the shareholders."

The new company brings about the end of the more than 150 years of family rule of the St. Louis company, though the newly combined company's North American headquarters will stay there. InBev has said it will keep open all 12 of Anheuser-Busch's North American breweries.

Busch will move into a non-executive role, but will be on the new company's board. He said he was excited about the future of the new company, especially expanding the brands worldwide, which he said helps in "fulfilling the global ambition of my family."

Not all shareholders were pleased, though.

Shareholder Rebecca Mance of Danville, Calif., cried after the vote and told shareholders it marked the end of an era.

"There is something here that matters more than money," Mance said, adding "market share will dwindle."

"I am a consumer and in truth I won't buy it anymore," she said of the company's brands.

Anheuser-Busch agreed this summer to accept the buyout from InBev worth $70 a share. InBev shareholders approved the deal in September.

The sale price is a premium to Anheuser-Busch shareholders over the company's current stock price. On Wednesday, its shares were down 8 cents to $66.92. InBev said last week it will not reduce or change its $70-a-share offer, even though Anheuser-Busch's share price has dropped amid larger market turmoil.

The deal gives InBev a key to the U.S. market, where Anheuser-Busch dominates with about a 50 percent share. InBev, meanwhile, has a small fraction. It also gives the company about one-fifth of the markets in China and Russia, two areas poised for growth.

InBev has said it wants to tap into Anheuser-Busch's marketing power and make its top-selling Budweiser and Bud Light brands into global powerhouses like Coca-Cola or Pepsi.

About 100 people attended the meeting Wednesday, among them longtime worker shareholders.

Mark Dingelstedt, who retired in January after working for 25 years in production at Anheuser-Busch's Newark, N.J., facility, said although he will "make a few dollars" on the deal, he was sad to see the brewer be taken over by an international company.

"We used to be the great American beer company," he said. "We're going to lose that, I feel."

InBev brands

• Stella Artois

• Bass

• Brahma

• Hoegaarden

• Staropramen

• Leffe

• Beck's

Anheuser-Busch brands

• Budweiser

• Bud Light

• Michelob

• Busch

• Natural Ice

Anheuser-Busch sale approved 11/12/08 [Last modified: Friday, November 14, 2008 9:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, wire reports.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Home of Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman hits market at $3.45 million

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is back on the market for $3.45 million after a brief hiatus.

    The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is on the market for $3.45 million. [Courtesy of Hi Res Media]
  2. Trigaux: Halfway through 2017, a closer look at six drivers of the Tampa Bay economy

    Business

    We're nearly halfway through 2017 already, a perfect time to step back from the daily grind of business and ask: How's Tampa Bay's economy doing?

    Is there one theme or idea that captures the Tampa Bay brand? Not really but here's one possibility. The fun-loving annual Gasparilla "Invasion" of Tampa is captured in this photo of 
The Jose Gasparilla loaded with pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla on its way this past January to the Tampa Convention Center. In the future a vibrant downtown Tampa or St. Petersburg may be the better theme. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Will new laws protect condo owners from apartment conversions and rogue associations?

    Real Estate

    Danny Di Nicolantonio has lived in St. Petersburg's Calais Village Condominums for 33 years. Annoyed at times by the actions, or inaction, of the condo board and property managers, he has complained to the state agency that is supposed to investigate.

    That has left him even more annoyed.

    A bill passed by the Florida Legislature would affect places like The Slade in Tampa's Channelside district, where condominium owners have battled a plan to convert homes into apartments.
[Times file photo]
  4. Walmart opens first Pinellas County in-house training academy

    Retail

    Seminole — It had all the hallmarks of a typical graduation: robe-clad graduates marching in to Pomp and Circumstance, friends and family packed together under a sweltering tent and a lineup of speakers encouraging the graduates to take charge of their future.

    New Walmart Academy graduates are congratulated Thursday morning by associates during a graduation ceremony at the Walmart store, 10237 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg. The Walmart location is one of the company's training academies where managers complete a one week retail course. David Shultz and Richard Sheehan, both from St. Petersburg, get high fives from the crowd.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Lawsuit: Florida contractor fakes death to dodge angry homeowners

    Human Interest

    SEMINOLE — For weeks, Glenn Holland, 67, crawled out of bed before the sun rose to look for a dead man.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]