Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Beer Blogging: AB (Possible) Buyout Edition

This past weekend I heard from a friend who works at Anheuser-Busch that the St. Louis king of all beer manufacturers may be bought out. I hadn't heard this before but apparently there is some serious talk of this happening.

ST. LOUIS: Residents here have grown accustomed to seeing local corporations gobbled up by larger outside firms. But losing Anheuser-Busch Cos. could be the cruelest cut of all.

The largest U.S. brewery has long been a point of pride as a hometown attraction. The company's massive red-brick brewery draws tourists from around the country to see the Clydesdale horse stables, brewing vats and Busch family memorabilia dating back generations.

Reports that the company might be purchased by Belgium-based brewer InBev SA have residents worried they might lose a company as closely identified with St. Louis as the iconic Gateway Arch.

"St. Louis has gotten to the point where we have the brewery and the Cardinals (baseball team) — that's it," said John Schute, owner of the Sage restaurant and bar just across the street from the Anheuser-Busch brewery.

There's good reason to worry that InBev will make dramatic changes if the deal goes through, said Juli Niemann, an analyst with Smith Moore & Co. in St. Louis. While Anheuser-Busch has made strides to cut costs in the face of rising ingredient prices, InBev has a reputation for making new operations as lean as possible.

InBev has not yet made an official offer for Anheuser-Busch. But recent media reports have cited anonymous sources close to the European brewer who said the firm was considering an offer of $46 billion (€29.19 billion), or $65 a share, for Anheuser-Busch.

If InBev makes such an offer, it could be too sweet to refuse for Anheuser-Busch shareholders, even if executives oppose the move. The stock closed at $56.75 Tuesday and has traded as low as $45.55 this year.

Anheuser-Busch has been struggling along with other brewers in recent years as consumers have turned to cocktails, wines and craft beers. Rising ingredient costs have further pinched profits this year. Other big brewers are consolidating to compete — Miller Brewing Co., the second-largest U.S. beer-maker, and No. 3 Molson Coors Brewing Co. are planning to combine U.S. operations by midsummer.

If Anheuser-Busch is absorbed by InBev, many St. Louis residents worry the new company won't have the same dedication to charitable giving and supporting the city's cultural life. The brewer supports local festivals like the downtown Mardi Gras parade and a new beer heritage fair in the city's Forest Park.

Well, I have many favorites when it comes to beer and no AH product even cracks the top 25 but, hey, they're the home team. InBev, however, does already make a few fine beers:

But hey, InBev, leave our Bud alone!

Have a great weekend! And have a Bud Light while you still can.


geek_guy said...


allie said...

the times they are a changin...

Anonymous said...

Oh boy. What idiot would pay for and drink foreign owned, watered down Bud ? The good news is we can watch these greedy hogs loose there $50 billion investment when Americans refuse to buy their foreign swill.

Gish said...

Is this opposed to drinking American-owned watered down swill? People apparently have no problem drinking Miller's products which is owned by South African Breweries. Oh they named it SABMiller but that was about as disingeneous as the whole DaimlerChrysler crap.