Last month, when InBev filed a lawsuit to confirm that shareholders could remove Anheuser-Busch’s (BUD) entire board of directors without cause, some questioned if this strongarm tactic would really be used. InBev has repeatedly said they are committed to a “friendly combination” and with the patriotic firestorm that is brewing around this potential deal, being too hostile could be Kryptonite. Well, apparently the Belgian brewer is interested in a “friendly” deal, just with a new board (WSJ):
InBev said it will file a consent solicitation statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seeking to remove each member of the board of directors.
A consent solicitation is a request to the shareholders for the consent of a material change within the company. If the majority of stakeholders consent then the issuer can go ahead with the changes.
InBev said the move would give Anheuser-Busch shareholders an opportunity to have a direct say in the proposed merger of InBev and Anheuser-Busch.
If InBev follows through on this process, it will likely take several months. For now, therefore, InBev likely views the move mostly as a way to keep its options open and put more pressure on the BUD board to come to the negotiating table.
And guess who’s included in their new proposed board? Adolphus Busch IV, the uncle of Anheuser CEO August Busch IV, perhaps the only Busch family member that still believes in “shareholder value.”
Complete BUD-InBev News and Analysis
Anheuser-Busch (BUD): InBev Refuses To Raise Bid…Yet (BUD)
Anheuser-Busch (BUD) CEO A. Busch IV: Why Does Everyone Think I’m Just An Incompetent Playboy? (BUD)
Anheuser-Busch (BUD): Incompetent Busch Family Desperately Trying To Stop InBev Deal (BUD)
Photo from Flickr (turgidson)