Shareholders Block Anheuser-Busch Sale

(CN) – Shareholders say Belgium-based InBev’s $46.3 billion offer to buy Anheuser-Busch for $65 a share is too low, and filed a class action suit in Delaware Chancery County Court to block the proposed merger.




     Plaintiffs say the offer is inadequate because “the intrinsic value of Anheuser-Busch’s common stock is materially in excess of the amount offered for those securities in the proposed acquisition given to the Company’s assets and prospects for future growth and earnings.”
     Anheuser-Busch recently released a long-term growth objective of 7 to 10 percent, after reporting that sales increased by 6.8 percent in the first quarter this year, the complaint states. It says Anheuser-Busch’s growth has been consistent for five years, and also claims there are also conflicts in this proposed merger.
     The alleged conflicts include the two companies distributing each other’s products in different countries, and InBev’s sale of its Rolling Rock Brand to Anheuser-Busch for $82 million in 2006. Also, Anheuser-Busch has hired Goldman Sachs and Citigroup as financial advisers, while Mark Winkelman, a member of InBev’s board, was a management committee member of Goldman Sachs & Co. from 1988 to 1994 and is now a senior director.
     The class is represented by Brian Long of Wilmington, Del.

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