We have been critical of how the Busch family and the Anheuser-Busch (BUD) board have handled the InBev situation. The $65/share acquisition offer from InBev represents an 18% premium over the company’s previous all-time high of $54.97…which was six years ago.
Our worries centered around the Busch family cloaking themselves in the American flag, smearing InBev, and screwing shareholders who own 96% of the company. As you watch the Busch family do everything it can to kill the InBev sale, remember that the family as a whole owns less than even Warren Buffett (who owns 5% of BUD) (NYT):
…[Anheuser CEO, August A. Busch] the Fourth, his father, August A. Busch III, and the board are already preparing to fight the offer, some people involved in the board’s deliberations said. (Other people tried to persuade me that they were all working in “good faith.”)
The Fourth told a meeting of beer distributors in Chicago in April, when rumours were swirling about the company’s ability to remain independent, that no sale would happen “on my watch.”..
The board has historically been criticised for its governance: The Corporate Library gives Anheuser-Busch’s board a grade of D, citing, among other things, conflicts on the board…
They are trying to make the deal a political issue. Locally, it’s a hot topic…. A Web site, saveab.com, already has some 30,000 signatures, including those of the governor of Missouri and the mayor of St. Louis
However, despite the family’s behaviour, there is solace for shareholders (which explains the current $61+ share price):
One person involved in the talks said: “We all know how the story ends. It is just a matter of how we get there that could make this interesting.”
Full Bud-InBev Coverage and Analysis
Meet Augustus A. Busch IV–The Man Who Will Do Anything Not To Sell Anheuser-Busch
Busch Family Pretends It Still Controls Anheuser-Busch, But Can’t Block BUD/InBev Deal (BUD)
InBev Tells Anheuser-Busch (BUD) To Kill Grupo Modelo Talks It Started To Get InBev To Raise Bid (BUD)
Anheuser-Busch (BUD): InBev Launches Charm Offensive To Quell Screams About “Stealing American Icon!” (BUD)
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.