Anheuser-Busch says that is going to fight a takeover bid by Belgian brewer InBev by cutting staff and finding savings of over $1 billion, the St. Louis-based brewer announced today. They also plan to increase profits and repurchase stock.
“The Anheuser management is trying to say they are going to do everything that InBev’s management would do,” said Morningstar analyst Ann Gilpin. Gilpin raised questions on why Anheuser didn’t lay out its latest proposal prior to the InBev bid. “Either you low-balled it or you are really stretching it,” she said.
Anheuser is going to find it hard to convince shareholders that they are better off accepting the strategic plan, over InBev’s cash offer she said. “I think shareholders would rather take cash,” she said
Here’s A-B’s official statement:
“InBev’s proposal significantly undervalues the unique assets and prospects of Anheuser Busch,” said Patrick Stokes, chairman of the board for the company. “The proposed price does not reflect the strength of Anheuser-Busch’s global, iconic brands Bud Light and Budweiser, the top two selling beer brands in the world, with Budweiser selling in more than 80 countries today. The proposal also undervalues the earnings growth actions that the company had already planned, which have significant potential for shareholder value creation; the company’s market position in the United States, the most-profitable beer market in the world; and the high value of its existing strategic investments.”
Our recent reader poll shows that the majority of our readers don’t really care if InBev takes over A-B, but there are groups who certainly seem to.
UPDATE: Anheuser To Cut Costs, Challenge InBev On Directors [CNNMoney]
Anheuser-Busch Rejects InBev Proposal as Financially Inadequate, Not in Best Interests of Shareholders [A-B]