Tuesday, November 18, 2008

InBev finally gets Anheuser-Busch

Well, it's official. The jolly Belgian giant has snatched up Anheuser-Busch and scurried back up the hop stalk. Here's the official press release:

InBev (Euronext: INB) announced today that it has completed its acquisition of Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD), following approval from shareholders of both companies. The combination creates the global leader in beer and one of the world’s top five consumer products companies. Under the terms of the merger agreement, all shares of Anheuser-Busch will be acquired for 70 USD per share in cash, for an aggregate of 52 billion USD.

Effective today, InBev has changed its name to Anheuser-Busch InBev to reflect the heritage and traditions of Anheuser-Busch. Starting November 20, 2008, the company will trade under the new ticker symbol ABI on the Euronext Brussels stock exchange. Anheuser-Busch has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev and will retain its current headquarters in St. Louis, MO. St. Louis will also become the North American headquarters for the combined company. The new Anheuser-Busch InBev is geographically diversified, benefiting from a balanced exposure to developed and developing markets. The company manages a portfolio of over 200 brands that includes global flagship brands Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s, fast growing multi-country brands like Leffe and Hoegaarden, and strong “local jewels” such as Bud Light, Skol, Brahma, Quilmes, Michelob, Harbin, Sedrin, Cass, Klinskoye, Sibirskaya Korona, Chernigivske, and Jupiler, among others.

Carlos Brito, CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, said, “We are extremely pleased to announce the closing of this historic transaction. By bringing together these two great businesses, we have created a stronger, more competitive global company with a leading international brand portfolio and distribution network, and great potential for growth all over the world. We look forward to leveraging the operational and cultural strengths of both companies.

“Today also marks an important step towards achieving our shared dream of becoming the best beer company in a better world. Anheuser-Busch and InBev both have rich brewing traditions and a commitment to quality and integrity. We will succeed by celebrating and integrating both companies’ strong brands, heritages and values and by incorporating the best practices of both to create opportunities for all of our stakeholders worldwide."August A. Busch IV, President and CEO of Anheuser-Busch said, “By combining with InBev, we have created a first-class international consumer products company and, without a doubt, the premier global brewer. Together, we will achieve our goals far more effectively than either company could on its own.”

REGULATORY APPROVALS

InBev has received all regulatory clearances required to be obtained in order to proceed with completion. Prior to completion, InBev reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") that permitted the completion of the acquisition provided that certain actions to address competition concerns relating to the combination of InBev USA’s sales of Labatt branded beer and Anheuser-Busch’s sales of beer in upstate New York are implemented following closing of the deal. The terms of the consent final judgment with the DOJ were filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on November 14, 2008.

MANAGEMENT / BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Several management and board of director changes became effective today as a result of closing the transaction. Luiz Fernando Edmond, currently Zone President Latin America North and AmBev's Chief Executive Officer, becomes Zone President North America. Dave Peacock, who most recently served as Vice President of Marketing of Anheuser-Busch Incorporated and Chief Executive Officer of Wholesaler Equity Development Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc., becomes President of Anheuser-Busch.

Additionally, Joao Castro Neves becomes Zone President Latin America North and AmBev's Chief Executive Officer, and the incumbent Zone President for North America, Bernardo Pinto Paiva, has become Zone President Latin America South, replacing Joao.

The Board of Directors of the combined company will be comprised of the existing directors of the InBev Board and former Anheuser-Busch President and CEO August A. Busch IV.

ANHEUSER-BUSCH COMMON SHARES


Effective as of the close of trading yesterday, Anheuser-Busch common stock (NYSE: BUD) has ceased trading. Every shareholder of Anheuser-Busch common stock will receive 70 USD per share in cash. Anheuser-Busch’s shareholders holding through a broker or bank should receive information regarding their Anheuser-Busch common shares from the broker or bank.

InBev has appointed BNY Mellon Shareowner Services as paying agent in connection with the acquisition. Anheuser-Busch shareholders with any questions regarding the payment for their Anheuser-Busch common stock should contact BNY Mellon Shareowner Services at 1-888-213-0964 from within the U.S. and 1-201-683-6884 from outside the U.S. Additional information will be mailed to all Anheuser-Busch common shareholders as well.

FINANCING


Financing for the transaction was provided by a group of leading financial institutions. The lending group provided 45 billion USD in debt financing and 9.8 billion USD in equity bridge financing.

Dutch and French versions of this press release will be posted on ab-inbev.com as soon as possible.

About Anheuser-Busch InBev

Anheuser-Busch InBev is a publicly traded company based in Leuven, Belgium. It is the leading global brewer and one of the world's top five consumer products companies. A true consumer-centric, sales driven company, Anheuser-Busch InBev manages a portfolio of over 200 brands that includes global flagship brands Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s, fast growing multi-country Brands like Leffe and Hoegaarden, and strong "local jewels" such as Bud Light, Skol, Brahma, Quilmes, Michelob, Harbin, Sedrin, Cass, Klinskoye, Sibirskaya Korona, Chernigivske, and Jupiler, among others. In addition, the company owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer and owner of the global Corona brand, and a 27 percent share in China brewer Tsingtao, whose namesake beer brand is the country's best-selling premium beer. Anheuser-Busch InBev’s dedication to heritage and quality is rooted in brewing traditions that originate from the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium, dating back to 1366 and the pioneering spirit of the Anheuser & Co brewery, established in 1860 in St. Louis, USA. Geographically diversified with a balanced exposure to developed and developing markets, Anheuser-Busch InBev leverages the collective strengths of its 120,000 employees based in operations in over 30 countries across the world. The Company strives to be the Best Beer Company in a Better World. On a pro-forma basis for 2007, the combined company would have generated revenues of 26.4 billion euro.



So there you have it.

This merger will create one of the world’s top five consumer products companies. Now that the deal is done, I'd like to know what you think... so chime in!

2 comments:

Chris Scott said...

I'm sad to see the classic A-B logo go. While I'm not a fan of the beer, there's a good deal of history behind A-B that interests me.

Eli "The Mad Beer Man" Shayotovich said...

Chris, I could not agree more! A-B has a long and storied tradition in the US. It's sad that every single thing always boils down to money. As long as they don't take the breweries and offices from US soil, this might be a good thing. If they do remove them though... wow, it might get really ugly.

And what the heck is that bird in the logo now? A sparrow? Parakeet? ;)