Budweiser Sold To The Maker Of Stella Artois, Becks

It seems that $70 a share was enough for Anheuser-Busch — the brewer agreed to sell itself to Belgian beer giant InBev over the weekend. The new company will be called Anheuser-Busch InBev, and its board will have room for two former A-B executives, including A-B CEO, August A. Busch IV.

The joint press release stated that the company’s headquarters will remain in St. Louis and that no A-B breweries will close as a result of the buy-out.

The NYT says:

The deal marked a sharp reversal for Anheuser, based since it was founded in St. Louis. When InBev announced its initial $46.3 billion offer last month, Anheuser mounted a fierce defense. It drew upon its heritage and its history as a major benefactor of its hometown, and argued that it could increase its profits alone.

A new offer of $52 billion changed their minds, however.

Oddly, this sale means that Rolling Rock, formerly owned by InBev and sold to A-B in 2006, will now be part of InBev again.

Anheuser-Busch Agrees to Be Sold for $52 Billion [NYT]
(Photo: davidbivins )

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  1. ztoop says:

    Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that we can start drinking Rolling Rock again.

  2. sleze69 says:

    Hooray! Maybe domestic Bud won’t suck now!

  3. scoobydoo says:

    The entire board was against it. Until InBev told AB they’d replace the board. I guess the prospect of getting $6 Billion and job security is enough to make anyone change their mind…

  4. Now all that’s needed is for SABMiller to merge with A-B InBev, and all the world’s beer will be united under one umbrella.

  5. Sollus says:

    Does this mean that I finally don’t have to drive a goddamn hour to get my Stella Artois? Someone please tell me Stella will finally make an appearance at my small town grocery store.

  6. Jesse says:

    US consumers won’t see much if any changes. The two operations don’t overlap very much and InBev will keep Budweiser’s US headquarters the same. This means there probably won’t be much in the way of consoldiation and job cuts.

  7. Mr_D says:

    I never really saw how A-B was against this – I mean, InBev can use its distribution network in Europe to sell Bud, and Budweiser can use its distribution network to sell Stella and Hoegaarden and all of those wonderful European beers we don’t get around here. Everyone wins. It’s not like InBev was going to shutter a successful beer company, just because.

  8. Nepkarel says:

    This is awesome. Bud must be a good beer now, it’s Belgian!

    BTW: For all the sourpussies that are hurt about loosing an American icon: please send your thank you notes to:

    George W. Bush,
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW,
    Washington, DC

    whose administation oversaw the a drop of the dollar-euro exchange rate from 1€=$1.01 to 1€=$1.57, without giving a d@mn.

    In other words: the economic policies of the current administration have given Inbev a 33% discount on Anheuser-Bush.

  9. CRSpartan01 says:

    Depressing… I guess I can’t call Bud my beer anymore.

  10. Solidgun says:

    I have never been a fan of Budweiser, but okay, sounds like economy is in the crapper and I need to learn additional foreign language to enjoy living here for near future….

  11. dmbbnl429 says:

    I am a Sam Adams/Heineken chica all the way, maybe now Bud will actually be worth drinking.

  12. azntg says:

    Amazing what a mere $6 billion will do. I’ll remember that for the next time I own a corporation that can more or less print money, which is in the middle of a company acquisition negotiation.

    @Nepkarel: Had a good laugh with that one!

  13. Darren W. says:

    Here’s to local breweries! Flying Dog, FTW!

  14. Project Thanatos says:

    I see no bad in this. Especially if Stella becomes more common in the states.

    I’m all for piss-tasting American brews to vanish.

  15. Pro-Pain says:

    @Nepkarel: Exactly and it’s disgusting. I’m not sure which foreign language I should be learning either.

  16. evslin says:

    I doubt this will make Bud just magically taste better.

    Samuel Adams or a local brewery all the way.

  17. ScramDiggyBooBoo says:

    The one thing i thought would always be American. This country get worst to live in everyday…

  18. snoop-blog says:

    I’ll agree that Budweiser is not the best beer out there by any means, but it definately has a place in our bars. There’s a huge bar market out there that doesn’t care so much about taste vs. price. Some people still drink to get drunk and don’t care what it is they are drinking so long as they get drunk before they go broke.

  19. KenManiac says:

    maybe they’ll start brewing bud through a brewery instead of through a horse.

    it’ll still have that nice can-taste, tho. wee in a can, how refreshing!!

    at least bud is the easiest beer to recycle. drain can, drain into can, put in fridge, repeat.

  20. Cupajo says:

    You know what sex in a canoe has in common with American beer?

    They’re both fucking close to water.

  21. snoop-blog says:

    Prime example, me drinking by myself at home would be something like grey goose and red bull or crown and coke. Now if I invited guests over to drink, I would buy something like budweiser because it’s more neutral, and cheaper. Bud is definately not the worse beer I’ve ever drank. But then again I wasn’t born with elitist taste buds either.

  22. simplegreen says:

    So now all the rednecks instead of talking with a southern accent will now speak german?

  23. MaliBoo Radley says:

    If only this meant that Bud would actually have flavor.

    Alas …

    Sadly, something never change.

  24. Snarkysnake says:

    @snoop-blog:

    “I’ll agree that Budweiser is not the best beer out there by any means, but it definately has a place in our bars.”

    I couldn’t agree more. That place is in two rooms,marked “men” and “women”.

    I hope Stella is easier to find in the future. I stopped drinking Bud halfway through my first can and haven’t gulped any since…

  25. krom says:

    Well, that’s one way to get rednecks and frat boys to drink Belgian beer.

  26. Televiper says:

    This probably isn’t good on the grounds that you have a large portion of the market controlled by one very corporate entity. You’ll have guys who spend their days in suits looking at confusing charts deciding which beers to market and how. Will the taste of Bud improve in the US? I doubt it. But, you know it may affect the quality of Stella Artois. If they start brewing it in more massive quantities at AB. Simply changing the source of ingredients could go a long way.

  27. MikeL says:

    The Belgians are coming! The Belgians are coming! Hide the Clydesdales!

  28. ras_d says:

    crappy beers of the world unite!
    This story means nothing to me except that more American businesses and monies are going bye-bye.
    As long as we keep our traditional micro-brews, I will be fine.

    I just wonder what the frat boys of American will do once Bud actually tastes like beer and not barley-water…sales of Zima have spiked! hahahahahaha [you nancies]

  29. Nepkarel says:

    @ Pro-Pain: In Inbev’s case, Dutch would be a good option. Inbev’s HQ is in Flemish Leuven, a pitoresque city just east of Brussels. [en.wikipedia.org]

    Once you’ve mastered Dutch, you can start working on getting the Flemish accent down – it’s a bit softer. Then, in line with the current Belgian political struggles, you need to hate everybody that speaks French. [en.wikipedia.org]

    On the other hand, I do think English is safe in the US. Perhaps a bit is Spanish is handy if you want to keep talking to the people that do actual work (clean your trash, keep your garden, pack your groceries).

  30. failurate says:

    I think the trend will be new styles/brands produced here in the U.S. by The Big Beer companies based on European styles/brands. (Think Blue Moon)

    The cost to transport stuff overseas is high, especially stuff that can be produced here with identical quality.

    If you think Becks and Stella are made in a fashion that is different and superior than Budweiser, then you are exactly the person who should be buying Becks and Stella. Yay Marketing Dept!

  31. mac-phisto says:

    nothing should change with AB brands, but having a large production base for european brews could mean domestic production of currently imported brands. that’s kind of exciting.

    on the other hand, AB? say what you want about their beer, but this is a company that screams america & now it’s belgian? of all the countries in all the world, they sell out to BELGIANS? *shakes head*

  32. Hawkins says:

    I believe that some of y’all are missing the point.

    Say what you like about their beer, but Anheuser-Busch has long been a model corporate citizen and major benefactor to their community.

    InBev, on the other hand, has a reputation for ruthless efficiency and cost-cutting to uphold. So this sale will likely end up as a disaster for St. Louis.

    All thanks to the value of the U.S. peso, circling ever closer to the drain-hole, which is what you get when you allow the federal debt to increase by two-thirds in seven years.

    I wonder what part of my country they’ll auction off next…

    Grrrr…..

  33. snoop-blog says:

    I thought just a few weeks ago the ceo was proclaiming that he would never sell out?

  34. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:

    Can’t wait to go to InBev Gardens Williamsburg.

  35. Paul D says:

    Oooooh, I wonder how this will affect Cindy McCain.

    Maybe they’ll finally have enough to buy that ninth home!

    PS: Stella rules, Bud sucks. That is all.

  36. BlazerUnit says:

    AB might be very glad it took this deal down the road if the American economy sours any further.

    I normally don’t like two big corporations merging to reduce competition, but I don’t think the ‘loss’ of this American mass-producer is really all that bad. Beer snobs have several small to mid-size businesses selling microbrews, even here in the regressive, backwards territory known as “Alabama”.

    None of this really matters to me, as wasted bottles of Yuengling and Bud Light Lime have pretty much cemented that I’ll never become a beer drinker.

  37. johnva says:

    What I find most interesting about this whole deal is how many Americans seem to wrap Budweiser up with American patriotism. It sounds to me like a lot of people fell for a certain kind of marketing…

  38. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    @Nepkarel: Let’s keep the comments on topic and keep the political jabs out of it, please.

  39. AndyRogers says:

    @Nepkarel:
    You’ve GOT to be kidding me. If I recall, the lion’s share of the economic downturn started in late 2006 which just happens to coincide with Congress going left.

    Bernake is ALSO not half the fed res chairman that Greenspan was.

    This is so not Bush’s fault. Look inward, liberals.

  40. battra92 says:

    I don’t drink beer (or any alcohol) at all, but I do find it odd how some people have such an attachment to Budwiser. I mean, if you like it, fine but it’s not like it’s something sacred. It’s a product made by a company. Now it’s the same product made by another company.

    The original Schlitz is supposed to come back this year so maybe they can drink that if they don’t want a “foreign” beer.

  41. mac-phisto says:

    @BlazerUnit: i don’t have any statistics to prove this, but i’m pretty sure alcohol sales actually increase in bad times.

  42. AdvocatesDevil says:

    @snoop-blog: I guess $6 billion is a lot, even with today’s weak dollar!

  43. Nepkarel says:

    @ AndyRogers: You need to check your memory. First it was 9/11, now it’s the democrats. You know, those guys that have a 9% approval rating because they get nothing done. Get real. The democrats have the exact same approach to economic policy as the republicans: Do nothing and blame the other party. Wohooo!

    Also, check this chart of the dollar-euro exchange rate.

    [finance.yahoo.com]

    Do you see a sudden downturn after 2006? No, I see a constantly downward slope.

    BTW: Somebody who points out the facts is not a liberal, but a realist. When it comes to lying, both parties in this country have some soul-searching to do.

  44. JustinAche says:

    While thinking about beer and the other Stella, does anybody have any damn clue how I could possible get Stella Premium Lager, the Egyptian beer owned by Heiniken, here in the states? I don’t care if I have to buy it by the case, but a little pointer direction would rock

  45. mac-phisto says:

    @Nepkarel: no kidding. one of my favorite quotes:

    It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress.
    -mark twain

    these guys have been inept from the get-go. hey, at least they’re consistent!

  46. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    @Mr_D: “and Budweiser can use its distribution network to sell Stella and Hoegaarden and all of those wonderful European beers we don’t get around here”

    HOORAY! The more European beer the merrier!

    The best beer I’ve ever had was a bottle of something Polish a DirecTV customer gave me as a tip (I used to install). I don’t know what it was (label in Polish) and I can’t get more, as it isn’t sold here; the fellow brought it back with him from Poland.

  47. Imakeholesinu says:

    @Sollus:

    That is for your local beer distributor to decide, not AB’s fault.

  48. mac-phisto says:

    @DemolitionMan: determining how to get beer, where to get beer, or if you can even get a type of beer differs based on your state. the best place to start is at your local beer store. if your state works anything like mine, there are a handful of major distributors that local stores purchase beer from & each store has a catalog which lists every type of beer/spirit available & the licensed distributor that carries the product.

    you could also try contacting the importing distributor – they often have a list of vendors that receive their product. then, contact the vendor & see who they distribute to.

  49. pegr says:

    @Cupajo:

    If you’re going to quote the great Monty Python, please be good enough to give credit.

    Thanks.

  50. Triborough says:

    So InBev is adding a bottled water company to its portfolio. Interesting.

  51. Raiders757 says:

    My question isn’t how AB will be run, as I am sure most, if not all, will stay the same. Of course it would be nice if InBev changed some of the corporate policies that have turned working for AB into the feeling that your inside a prison camp. InBev really needs to do a study on worker moral not only with the brewery blue collar employees, but the on site blue collar contractors as well. THe plant in Williamsburg used to be a happy place to work at one time. Now you feel the cold corporate wind blowing the second you step foot on the property. Ever since 911, the place has been run with a cold iron fist.

    On top of that, I have seen so much money flushed down the drain at that plant, that InBev needs to do some serious research on AB’s spending habbits. Of course what does it matter. Flush corporate money down the drain, and the consumer will pay for it.

    My other concern is for the other properties AB owns in my area. In Williamsburg, AB owns more than a water park and theme park. They own a business park and a golf resort/gated community of rich snobs. If InBev wants to sell these off, who is going to buy them? Will this entity maintain the high standard AB has in the upkeep of these places?

    I’ll give AB this musch credit. Despite dumping money down the drain to do it, all of AB’s property is well maintained and very clean. Compare the brewery in Willaimsburg to Smithfield Hams, which is not far down the road, and you’ll see what I mean by this. Every crack of the AB brewery is damn near spotless. Smithfield Hams is clean on the inside, but outside, it looks like a second rate oeration. Our watered down beer seems to get better treatment than our food supply.

  52. JustinAche says:

    @mac-phisto: Yea, I’m in Florida, tried ABC Liqour…I’m gonna have to talk to the manager about the catalog next time I stop in. I guess it also depends on the store. Stella is not exactly a common name, but it has a more well known cousin, and every time I ask a local store, an ABC, ect, the people usually have no clue what I am talking about.

    Though if I do get it here, I don’t think I’ll be paying Egyptian prices (about $ 1 for a 16 oz bottle, 6.8% APV)

  53. papahoth says:

    @Hawkins: Is that why their CEO has gotten out of two drunk driving charges that caused injuries? Perhaps if they had spent more time running to company well instead of being a “good corporate citizen” they would still be American and a good corporate citizen.

    @battra92: Schlitz was ruthlessly driven out of business by AB.

  54. synergy says:

    With the dollar going down the drain, a lot more U.S. items are going to start going for sale to European companies. I’d say Chinese/Asian companies, but they’re just out-innovating the U.S. or they already own a companies debts. :-p

  55. Snarkysnake says:

    @papahoth:

    “Schlitz was ruthlessly driven out of business by AB.”

    Au Contraire…Schlitz was ruthlessly run out of business by…Schlitz.

    As late as 1980, Schlitz was the 2nd or 3rd leading beer in the U.S. (depnding on who’s numbers you use). They changed their brewing method in 1978 and took some production shortcuts that made the product look and taste like something out of the bottom of a horse.Their brewery managers begged management to go back to the prior method because the beer became cloudy and unappetizing when cold, No dice. The distributors warned the company that drinkers were pouring out half bottles of product and ordering another brand in bars. The management yawned. Then sales just collpsed and the company (Jos. A. Schlitz) was sold and went into the oblivion that it enjoys today.It’s right near impossible to find Schlitz (except in the “really cheap beer section”). Bud may go the same way if InBev starts monkeying with their formula…

  56. bigmac12 says:

    Looks like August A. Busch IV needs a good spanking……all those years of history down the drain.
    Now InBev can start marketing all their Piss, er….beer thru the Bud network.
    Mac

  57. AnubisAscended says:

    @snoop-blog: The problem is, if the price is right, anyone will sell out – take AB for example.

  58. battra92 says:

    @papahoth: @Snarkysnake:

    Well, I heard on the radio a while back that the original Schlitz formula is coming back.

    [www.chicagobusiness.com]

  59. welsey says:

    @Snarkysnake: My friend recently had a Schlitz-themed party, and I’ve never tasted something so awful. It’s like the worst Miller lite plus the scrapings off the floor of a locker room.

    And Schlitz was also killed by its terrifying choice of advertisements, featuring suggestively violent men with large cats.

  60. canuckistani says:

    somebody please re-assure me that this wont result in my Stella tasting like water…that would trouble me dearly!

  61. varro says:

    @Cupajo: All the big names in pale American lager are foreign-owned or brewed – Anheuser-Busch by InBev, Coors by Molson, Miller by South African Brewing. Pabst and other Pabst brands (Stroh’s, Schlitz, Olympia, Schaefer, Lone Star) are contract-brewed by SAB Miller.

    What’s even scarier – SABMiller and Molson Coors have combined operations in the U.S. to form MillerCoors.

  62. varro says:

    @Paul D: Or pay the taxes on the 8th home.

    If Cindy McCain has a lot of A-B stock (which I suspect she has), she’s reaping a windfall with the InBev takeover…

    Stella is no better or worse than any mass-market lager. I’m sticking with Iron City (which you can get in Portland, OR for some reason!) – I worked in the brewery the summer I turned 21. Best job EVAR. Iron City is independent, but in Chapter 11.

  63. Cupajo says:

    @pegr: I wasn’t quoting Monty Python. I was quoting Chuck from the accounting department at an office I worked at 8 years ago. I always thought it was a funny joke and I’m getting a lot of mileage out of it this week.

    (Never really cared for Monty Python, frankly.)

  64. campredeye says:

    @Cupajo

    Hahaha