Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: Here’s to Brew!
Anheuser-Busch has accepted a $52 billion takeover bid from Belgium-based InBev NV to create the world’s largest beer maker and end a month-long standoff.
InBev, which makes Stella Artois and Beck’s, agreed to pay $70 per share for the maker of Budweiser, up from its original unsolicited bid of $65 per share. The improved offer marked a 27 percent premium to Anheuser’s record-high stock price in October 2002.
The deal, which analysts expect to gain regulatory approval, would be the largest in the industry and the third-biggest ever foreign takeover of a U.S. company.
The combined company Anheuser-Busch InBev would have about $36.4 billion in annual net sales, about 40 percent in the United States, and would brew about a quarter of the world’s beer.
After the merger InBev will regain the world brewing top spot it lost last year to SABMiller, which was boosted by strong growth in China and the purchase of Grolsch, and the newly announced deal could trigger more changes in the beer world.
Analysts believe SABMiller will now look at possible deals with Mexico’s Modelo or FEMSA, Foster’s or Molson Coors, with whom it has agreed to merge U.S. operations.
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(Additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Martinne Geller)