Acquisition | St. Louis Public Radio

Acquisition

(via Flickr/Bernt Rostad)

"Chicago's Craft Beer" is the tagline gracing the top of the website of Goose Island Beer Co., but, with an announcement today involving St. Louis fixture Anheuser-Busch, that tagline of origin may become a little muddled.

(via Flickr/pasa47)

AT&T Inc. is about to become the largest cellphone company in the U.S. The company says it will buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $39 billion.

Right now AT&T is the second largest wireless carrier, behind only Verizon Wireless. AT&T expects its acquisition to take a year to close.

This post first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 31, 2008 - Although a new TV ad is a warning against rapid-fire stock trading, a few analysts say this might be a money-raising strategy for Wachovia Corp. They suggest it could sell its brokerage business, Wachovia Securities, which acquired A.G. Edwards in October.

Wachovia says it’s keeping the St. Louis-based brokerage; but that hasn’t stopped RBC Capital Markets and Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. from saying a sale would help repair some damage caused by its mortgage-lending.

A-B lifts a glass to better than expected earnings

Jul 23, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 23, 2008 - Anheuser-Busch on Wednesday reported second-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates. Higher profits from domestic and some foreign beer operations offset lower profits from non-beer businesses.

The March-June results are unaffected by the company's agreement on July 14 to be acquired by Belgian brewer InBev. That deal is expected to close by year-end. But until the initial agreement is approved by regulators and shareholders of both companies, Anheuser-Busch's results will reflect its independence.

Boycott in St. Louis? Not so much

Jul 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 14, 2008 - Nationally, internet web sites are filled with comments from beer drinkers who say they are switching brands because of the impending buyout.

One, posted by a writer with the screen name "IMCULTEC" on an America On Line site Monday morning, said: "Guess I'll make my own brewskis now. . . don't like foreigners taking over the reins of the Clydesdales. Doesn't feel right. Buy AMERICAN!! At least what's left, that is. Damn this Guberment!"

Analysis: Winners and losers in the big beer deal

Jul 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 14, 2008 - Now that Anheuser-Busch and InBev say they are friends, let’s look at potential winners and losers - both short-term and long-term - based on the Belgian brewer’s new offer for Anheuser-Busch at $70-a-share in cash.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 13, 2008 - InBev raised its offer and Anheuser-Busch raised a flag of truce, agreeing to a $70-a-share buyout. 

Shortly after 11 p.m., Anheuser-Busch announced it had agreed to terms with InBev.

AB across from i-55. 2008. 300 pixels wide
Donna Korando | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 13, 2008 - There was one strategy, and perhaps only one strategy, that could have kept St. Louis’ Anheuser-Busch King of the Brewing Mountain, immune from its now seemingly inevitable and imminent takeover by InBev of Belgium.

And that one thing, believes William Finnie, is the company having been more aggressive – and much sooner – in the international marketplace.

Air of inevitability hangs over AB deal

Jul 11, 2008
bevo fox looking at AB clocktower. 2008. 300 pixels
Tom Nagel | St. Louis Beacon archive

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 11, 2008 - Budweiser may hold onto its title as the "King of Beers," but the local entrepreneur who soon could become St. Louis' King of Brewers said today the foreign takeover of Anheuser-Busch shouldn't mean "doom and gloom" for the region.

Hostile InBev takeover could play out in the mail

Jul 10, 2008
anheuser busch eagle.  300 pixels. 2008
Tom Nagel | St. Louis Beacon archive

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 10, 2008 - The next big winner in the battle between Anheuser-Busch and InBev could be the Postal Service. Phone companies and express-mail companies could do nicely, too.

It all depends on how long the companies continue to call each other's increasingly expensive bluffs based on Anheuser-Busch's recent rejection of the Belgian brewer's $65-a-share takeover offer, which InBev still touts as friendly.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 7, 2008 - The battle for Anheuser-Busch accelerated Monday as Belgium’s InBev asked U.S. regulators to allow the St. Louis company’s shareholders to remove all board members. Anheuser-Busch said Monday that InBev’s attempt to replace the board is a “self-serving effort” to promote an offer that is “not in the best interest” of shareholders.

Shareholders deserve “an opportunity to have a direct voice in the proposed combination with InBev,” the Belgian brewer said in a statement. Anheuser-Busch’s board recently rejected a $65-a-share offer.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 1, 2008 - Belgian brewing giant InBev has moved a step closer to making a hostile offer for Anheuser-Busch, complaining that the St. Louis company's new plan for improving earnings and stock price has "significant execution risks."

Meanwhile, some analysts think that if InBev raises its offer too much, it will create financial problems for the combined company.

Just begun to fight: A-B presents its battle plan

Jun 27, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 27, 2008 - Seeking to explain why Anheuser-Busch should remain independent, top executives say earnings for the next three years will be well above Wall Street estimates, thanks to the company's revised strategic plan.

These gains will be achieved in part by cutting costs and jobs -- but not by cutting assets, such as the theme parks or the packaging subsidiary, the executives said Friday.

A-B rejects InBev's offer

Jun 26, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 26, 2008 - Anheuser-Busch has rejected a $46.4 billion takeover bid from Belgium's InBev, saying the offer was "financially inadequate and not in the best interests" of shareholders.

The announcement, which came about an hour after markets closed on Thursday, turned down the $65-a-share cash offer even though Anheuser-Busch's stock has never reached that level.

Dear A-B, Time is running out, Sincerely, InBev

Jun 25, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 25, 2008 - Belgian brewing giant InBev has sent another letter to Anheuser-Busch reaffirming its desire for a friendly acquisition, assuring that it has solid financing and warning that "time is of the essence." InBev's letter -- its third -- was the equivalent of writing the word "friendly" in capital letters with several exclamation marks added for emphasis.

Commentary: This Bud's for them

Jun 25, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 25, 2008 - A friend of mine stopped by the office the other day to ask me to sign a petition. Normally, I'm not much of a joiner, but it's hard to refuse a buddy so I asked him what we were protesting. Turns out I'm against the takeover of Anheuser-Busch.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 18, 2008 - The possible takeover of Anheuser Busch by the Belgian brewer InBev has sparked the predictable political outcry.

Claire McCaskill, the junior yet up-and-coming Democratic senator from Missouri, announced that she would block the takeover. Supporting the deal wouldn’t be “patriotic.” 

InBev sends A-B a not-so-friendly letter

Jun 15, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 15, 2008 - The suitor for Anheuser-Busch has sent another letter to the St. Louis brewer, and this one doesn’t sound as friendly as the “friendly combination” offer made on June 11 by the Belgian beer giant InBev.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 16, 2008 - The merger business has gotten so complex that it may be tougher to buy half a company than to sell a whole company.

That's the dilemma facing Anheuser-Busch as it contemplates a $65-a-share takeover bid from Belgian beer giant InBev.

A-B has limited defenses against InBev bid

Jun 12, 2008
view of A-B across I-55. 300 pals. 2008
Donna Korando | St. Louis Beacon Archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 12, 2008 - At $65 a share in cash, the unsolicited offer from Belgian beer giant InBev for Anheuser-Busch is one that shareholders will have trouble refusing and that management will have trouble repelling.

Dominance in U.S. market makes A-B a take-over target

Jun 9, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 9, 2008 - (Originally posted June 6, updated June 11.) 

Why has Anheuser-Busch gone from the largest brewer in the United States to the largest brewery takeover-target in the world?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Wachovia Corp. spent $6.9 billion to acquire A.G. Edwards; and the last thing the banking giant wants is a mass defection of brokers, who have rated higher on some customer satisfaction and broker satisfaction surveys than do Wachovia brokers.

"Whenever you buy a brokerage business, it's difficult to keep all the brokers," says Jaime Peters, who tracks big banks for the independent financial research firm Morningstar. She and other analysts note that A.G. Edwards' broker turnover rate over the years has been one of the lowest in the industry.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: There's more than a little irony that Wachovia Corp. announced its bid for A.G. Edwards around Memorial Day last year.

The acquisition marked the passing of another St. Louis headquarters and signaled the inevitable loss of jobs when two companies mate in the name of synergy.