Talk about a friendly bid. InBev CEO Carlos Brito gushes about Bud in this video statement, making a $46.3 billion bid sound almost cheap. “We respect the Anheuser-Busch board a lot,” he said. “We admire them a lot and we think that the business rationale is very strong. But Bud shares are still trading well below the $65 per share offer, so skepticism abounds. With analysts calling for a bid closer to $70, expect at least a few more rounds.
India’s Ranbaxy Laboratories sees huge opportunities for growth in Japan’s generics drug market and mergers and acquisitions are a likely option for it to expand. The attractiveness of the market was a big factor in its decision to team up with Daiichi Sankyo, Ranbaxy Chief Executive Malvinder Singh told a news conference in Tokyo. Faced with an ageing population and ballooning healthcare costs, Japan’s government has recently taken steps to promote the use of the off-patent drugs — currently only 17 percent of volume compared with 63 percent in the United States. Ranbaxy and Daiichi Sankyo announced on Wednesday that Japan’s No. 3 drug maker would pay up to $4.6 billion for control of the Indian generic drugs maker.
Citigroup Chief Executive Vikram Pandit must have seen this coming. The Wall Street Journal reports that the bank plans to close the hedge fund he co-founded, and which more-or-less launched his rocket ship to the top. Last month, Citi said it was looking at restructuring the fund, called Old Lane. Nearly all investors unaffiliated with the fund have requested to redeem their money. Citi bought Old Lane last year for more than $600 million, but the fund’s performance has since been disappointing. Citi wrote down $200 million of intangible assets linked to the acquisition in the first quarter.
Other deals of the day:
*BHP Billiton took its case for a takeover of rival Rio Tinto to well-heeled investors on Thursday, saying a marriage could better capture markets in fast-industrializing Asian economies.
*InBev courted shareholders of Anheuser-Busch after making a $46.3 billion bid, hoping to add Budweiser to its own Stella Artois and Beck’s beers and create the world’s largest brewer.