ST. LOUIS (CN) – Anheuser-Busch has fired back at InBev, claiming the Belgium-based beer company made false statements about its buyout plan to try to buy the American beer giant at a discount. Among other things, Anheuser-Busch claims that InBev’s 570 workers in Cuba, where InBev owns 55 percent of the beer market, would run afoul of the U.S. trade embargo.
In its federal claim, Anheuser-Busch challenges InBev’s declaration that it would base its North American headquarters in St. Louis. InBev’s Cuban operations would prevent that because of the Trading with the Enemy Act and Cuban Assets Control Regulations, the complaint states.
The lawsuit also questions InBev’s statement that it has fully committed financing to buy Anheuser-Busch.
“Given the current state of the credit markets, no group of lenders would unconditionally agree to loan InBev the $40 billion it will need,” the complaint states. “Any commitments InBev has received are certainly rife with conditions leaving the proposed lenders free to walk away if, for example, market conditions deteriorate, InBev’s or the Company’s performance worsens, or they are unable to syndicate their loans. For InBev to tout its purportedly ‘fully committed’ financing without disclosing these conditions is materially misleading.”
Anheuser-Busch seeks an injunction prohibiting InBev from soliciting shareholders until it has clarified the allegedly misleading statements. InBev sued in Delaware state court in June, seeking to oust Anheuser-Busch’s Board of Directors after the board rejected InBev’s $47 billion offer.
Anheuser-Busch is represented by James Bennett.