The rumors have been out there. InBev was attempting, what some described as a hostile takeover, to acquire Anhuerser-Busch for $47 billion. Apparently, tossing in an extra $5 billion removes all forms of hostility. For those who need help, that means InBev ponied up $52 billion for Anhueser-Busch, creating the new company Anhuerser-Busch InBev.
Don’t you fans of boring flavorless beer worry, the new bosses at AB InBev will continue to bring you the same fizzy yerllow beer you’ve been conned into loving. So what does this deal mean? InBev CEO Carlos Brito is claiming no jobs will be cut, no breweries will be closed, and the North American headquarters will be based out of st Louis. He also sees no issues arising from the 50 percent stake in Grupo Modelo down Mexico way, a potential roadblock that many have been wondering about. There will be some changes though.
The new company will shed some $7 billion in “noncore assets” as well as need to take on $45 billion in debt. New shares will be issued to raise close to $10 billion.
So what counts as “noncore assest?” Personally, I’ve been a little interested in seeing what Michelob would have to offer since AB let loose of the reigns. What does the future hold for this brand now that penny pinching InBev is caling the shots? Do they see the attempt to court the craft beer market as worth the investment, or do they start selling 40-ounce bottles of Bud Light Lime with raspberry, pomegranate and blueberry to follow?
Who knows. I really don’t see this deal affecting the heart of the craft brewing industry too much, but could affect the visibility of craft brews in bars and restaurants. Now that Anhueser Busch distribution network can carry readily available Becks, Bass, Stella Artois and other inBev products, do bars replace micro taps with imports? Do casual beer drinkers care?