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InBev’s Official Anheuser-Busch Announcement

It’s now written in the history books, Anheuser-Busch InBev issued their press release this morning to let the world know they’ve taken over the original King of Beers brew house Anheuser-Busch. The new company name is Anheuser-Busch Inbev and is the worlds largest brewery, larger than before.

We covered this last night as it occurred but all we had were comments prior to market opening, today we’re looking at the final announcement and press release. Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) opened high today, but has declined since the opening. It should be interesting to see how things progress throughout the week on the stock market in response to the news.

Combination Will Create One of the World’s Five Largest Consumer
Products Companies

Company to be Named Anheuser-Busch InBev;

Budweiser to Expand Globally

Transaction Will Yield Cost Synergies of at Least $1.5 Billion Annually by
2011; Neutral to EPS in 2009 and Accretive Beginning in 2010

St. Louis, Missouri will be North American Headquarters and Global Home
of Flagship Budweiser Brand

Fully Committed to Support Wholesalers and Three-Tier System

All U.S. Breweries to Remain Open; Commitment to Communities of
Combined Company Maintained

InBev (Euronext: INB) and Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) today announced an agreement to combine the two companies, forming the world’s leading global brewer. Anheuser-Busch shareholders will receive $70 per share in cash, for an aggregate equity value of $52 billion, in an industry-transforming transaction. The combined company will be called Anheuser Busch InBev. Both companies’ Boards of Directors have unanimously approved the transaction. InBev has fully committed financing for the purchase of all of Anheuser-Busch’s outstanding shares.

The combination of Anheuser-Busch and InBev will create the global leader in the beer industry and one of the world’s top five consumer products companies. On a pro-forma basis for 2007, the combined company would have generated global volumes of 460 million hectoliters, revenues of $36.4 billion (€26.6 billion) and EBITDA of $10.7 billion (€7.8 billion). Anheuser-Busch and InBev together believe that this transaction is in the best interests of both companies’ shareholders, consumers, employees, wholesalers, business partners and the communities they serve.

The company will make St. Louis, Missouri the headquarters for the North American region and the global home of the flagship Budweiser brand. With about 40% of the combined company’s revenues to be generated in the U.S., the company will draw on the collective expertise of Anheuser-Busch’s dedicated and experienced employees and its culture of quality. Given the limited geographical overlap between the two businesses and the efficiency of Anheuser-Busch’s brewery footprint in the United States, all of Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. breweries will remain open.

InBev CEO Carlos Brito will be chief executive officer of the combined company. The Board of Directors of the combined company will be comprised of the existing directors of the InBev Board, Anheuser-Busch President and CEO August Busch IV and one other current or former director from the Anheuser-Busch Board. In addition, the combined company’s management team will draw from key members of both InBev’s and Anheuser-Busch’s current leadership. Anheuser-Busch will become a wholly owned subsidiary of InBev upon the completion of this transaction.

The expanded company will be geographically diversified, with leading positions in the world’s top five markets – China, U.S., Russia, Brazil and Germany – and balanced exposure to developed and developing markets. A combination of Anheuser-Busch and InBev will result in significant growth opportunities from leveraging the companies’ combined brand portfolio, including the global flagship Budweiser brand and international market leaders such as Stella Artois and Beck’s, maximizing the combination’s unparalleled global distribution network and applying best practices across the new organization. Budweiser and Bud Light are the largest selling beers in the world, and the combined company will have an unmatched portfolio of imports, local premiums and local core brands.

Carlos Brito, CEO of InBev, said, “We are very pleased to announce this historic transaction today, bringing together two great companies that share a rich history of brewing traditions. We are extremely excited about the opportunities that this combination will create for consumers worldwide, as well as our shareholders, employees, business partners and wholesalers. Together, Anheuser-Busch and InBev will be able to accomplish much more than each can on its own. We have been successful business partners for quite some time, and this is the natural next step for us in an increasingly competitive global environment. This combination will create a stronger, more competitive global company with an unrivaled worldwide brand portfolio and distribution network, with great potential for growth all over the world.”

August Busch IV, Anheuser-Busch President and CEO, stated, “Today’s announcement brings new opportunities for Anheuser-Busch and its business, brands and employees. This agreement provides additional and certain value for Anheuser-Busch shareholders, while enhancing global market access for Budweiser, one of America’s true iconic brands. We will leverage our collective strengths to create a truly diversified, global company to sustain long-term growth and profitability. In the United States and Canada, both InBev and Anheuser-Busch have seen significant benefits from our existing relationship and we look forward to replicating this success in other parts of the world.”

Budweiser, together with Stella Artois and Beck’s, will become the combined company’s leading global brands, leveraging InBev’s expansive international footprint. InBev has a history of successfully building brands around the world, which will complement the unparalleled strength of Anheuser-Busch’s brand-building in the U.S. The two companies already have a successful U.S. distribution partnership for InBev’s European premium import brands including Stella Artois, Beck’s and Bass. Anheuser-Busch’s world-class sales and distribution system will continue to support the expansion of these brands in the U.S. market.

Anheuser-Busch’s partners fit very well with InBev’s global franchise. Anheuser-Busch has equity investments in two companies with strong brands in two key markets: Mexico’s Grupo Modelo, which owns Corona Extra, the number five brand globally; and China’s Tsingtao, the leading Chinese premium brewer. In addition, Budweiser is a strong and growing national brand in China, and the two companies’ footprints in China are complementary. InBev’s China business in southeastern China will be enhanced by Anheuser-Busch’s strength in northeastern China.

(read full press release)

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Hocko
    July 14, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    I will not drink another Bud. Anheuser-Busch is no longer an American company, I buy American – it is as simple as that! I encourage my fellow Budmen to follow me. Once InBev’s aquisition is worth 75% of what they paid, we will buy it back – that’s the American way!

    Thought you got a good deal InBev – just wait!

  • Reply
    Bookmarks about Brands
    November 2, 2008 at 6:00 am

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