ST. LOUIS (CN) – Anheuser-Busch shortchanged shareholders by accepting InBev’s buyout at $70 a share, a class action claims in Federal Court. InBev bought Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion in July after Anheuser-Busch originally rejected an offer at $65 a share.
Named plaintiff Man Foon Shiu claims the $70 a share offer is not acceptable due to the same standards that prompted Anheuser-Busch to reject the $65 a share offer. Shiu says that Anheuser-Busch is an iconic brand; that it holds more than 50 percent of the U.S. market share; that Anheuser-Busch has strong market growing plans in Latin America; and that Anheuser-Busch’s detailed, accelerated growth plan are the reasons why Anheuser-Busch breached its duty to shareholders by accepting InBev’s offer.
Anheuser-Busch and InBev participated in a bitter exchange after InBev’s original offer was rejected in June. More than a dozen shareholders filed suit against Anheuser-Busch claiming it breached its duty to shareholders by not accepting the original $65 a share offer. InBev filed suit against Anheuser-Busch seeking to remove Anheuser-Busch’s board of directors and Anheuser-Busch sued InBev claiming its buyout-related promises to shareholders were false. InBev’s buyout of Anheuser-Busch will create the world’s largest beer distributorship and would have generated $36.4 billion in revenue, the suit states.
The class consists of all owners of Anheuser-Busch common stock. The class is seeking a ruling prohibiting the buyout and damages and is represented by Joseph Devereux.