Economy & Innovation | St. Louis Public Radio

Economy & Innovation

Beer deal includes some promises for St. Louis

Jul 16, 2008
Clydesdale gets washed down at brewery
Tom Nagel | St. Louis Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 16, 2008- Seeking to provide a smooth transition, InBev will offer retention bonuses to approximately 360 “key employees” of Anheuser-Busch as the Belgian company acquires the St. Louis company.

The employees’ titles weren’t identified in a document filed by both companies Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Retention bonuses for top executives are common in mergers and acquisitions.

Rich Thyer (left) gets help from instructor Larry Sisson at Ranken Technical College on Finney Avenue in St. Louis
Provided by Rich Thyer | Beacon archives

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 16, 2008 - Chad Risenhoover has some simple advice for the 2,400 autoworkers facing layoffs at Chrysler's sprawling assembly plants in Fenton: "Life isn't over; the sun will still rise tomorrow.

"Sure, you may have to sell some of your toys; sure, you may have to downsize. But there is life after Chrysler, after Ford, even after Chevy."

lambert300.jpg
St. Louis Lambert International Airport

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 15, 2008 - "Conservative" renovations are underway at Lambert-St. Louis International Airports. The nearly $17 million in upgrades is a step down from a concept plan that had a price tag of about $105 million. Officials hope the improvements will still make the airport more customer friendly while staying on top of turbulent economic times.

'We get to stay in our home'

Jul 15, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 15, 2008 - Housing counselor Eric Madkins was on the phone with one of his foreclosure success stories: a 26-year-old homeowner from Jennings who found help at the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis after her husband was laid off last Christmas.

The mother of three described how her family's near-miss with foreclosure had affected her children.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 15, 2008- I was standing in the checkout line leafing through a book on modern architecture I intended to purchase. A woman standing next to me, noticing my book, said she hated modern architecture and thought it ugly. Though I should have praised her interest in the subject at all, I directed her, in a somewhat condescending tone of voice, to a book I had flipped through moments before with the name of The Architecture of Happiness by the essayist Alain de Botton. Its cover, depicting a very modern "machine for living in" and an 18th century bucolic cottage, promised another diatribe against modern architecture. So I put it back on the shelf. Lucky for me, my wife gave it to me as a present.

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!"

Can a Clydesdale pull his weight in a global economy?

Jul 14, 2008
Clydesdale-pulled beer wagons went throughout the East Coast to promote approval of the repeal of Prohibition. 1933  300 pixels
From Anheuser-Busch Inc.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 14, 2008 - The Clydesdale hitch first paraded down Pestalozzi Street the day Congress set up the apparatus to repeal Prohibition.

Can you name the date?

Does Anheuser-Busch deserve your loyalty?

Jul 14, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 14, 2008 - Loyalty is what many St. Louisans feel - or at least have felt - towards hometown king Anheuser-Busch. No wonder some of us feel burned now that August Busch IV and the rest of the board favor selling to InBev.

Perhaps we should be more careful in the future to distinguish between loyalty as a genuine virtue and loyalty as a marketing device. Yet who can blame us for confusing the two? Blurring that line - getting us emotionally committed to a product - is what modern marketing is all about. And Anheuser-Busch is among the best marketers around.

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 8, 2008 - She is a 34-year-old married mother of two who is whittling away at $20,000 of debt – a saga she shares on her Web site www.paidtwice.com.

Jaimie of somewhere in Northeastern Indiana asked that we limit her identification – not because she is embarrassed to share her financial woes but because she wants to feel secure on the Internet. More than 1,500 people visit her site daily to read about her attempts to pay off the credit card debt and college student loans she and her husband accumulated after graduation.

The mortgage crisis is really a savings crisis

Jul 8, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 8, 2008 - While it can be argued that all levels of the lending industry played some part in the sub-prime mortgage collapse, economist William Emmons of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis adds another factor: household financial behavior.

Emmons believes thesub-prime mortgage meltdown was a long time coming and is linked to the downward trend in both U.S. personal and national saving.

Chris Krehmeyer
Provided by Beyond Housing

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - She is a 34-year-old married mother of two who is whittling away at $20,000 of debt – a saga she shares on her Web site www.paidtwice.com.

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.

Pro & Con: Does it matter if your brew is American made?

Jul 2, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 2, 2008 - A Fan of Anheuser-busch, Not Its Beer

By Rachel Brougham

I may not look like your average beer connoisseur. I'm a 30-year-old marathon runner. While I'm a woman who looks more like a snobby wine and cheese lover, I love my brew. More important, I love my imports and microbrews.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 1, 2008 - Despite stomach-wrenching news for two of this area's biggest -- and best-known -- corporate citizens, a local researcher says the sky is not falling on the St. Louis economy.

"We've been through this before, and we will get through it again," said Russ Signorino, vice president of research for the United Way of Greater St. Louis who has spent much of his life analyzing work and economic trends in the region.

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.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Congress will approve a housing bill that includes foreclosure relief for troubled American homeowners promptly after the Fourth of July recess, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said Saturday.

Got a problem with your mortgage? There's hope and help

Jun 27, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 27, 2008 - The foreclosure numbers are staggering, acknowledges Colleen Hernandez, president and executive director of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation that manages 888-995-HOPE, a national hotline for Americans seeking counseling assistance.

"I've been with the foundation for two years, and when I joined we were getting about 40 calls a day. Now we're getting between 3,000 and 4,000 calls a day, which is sort of a barometer of how serious the problem is,'' Hernandez said in during a phone interview with the St. Louis Beacon.

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The foreclosure numbers are staggering, acknowledges Colleen Hernandez, president and executive director of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation that manages 888-995-HOPE, a national hotline for Americans seeking counseling assistance.

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.

Credit crunch afflicts hospital projects

Jun 24, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 24, 2008 - The credit crunch is taking a toll on hospital expansion and renovation projects.

Hospitals are finding that it is becoming increasingly expensive to borrow the money needed to finance their building programs. That’s because the interest that hospitals must pay on the bonds they issue is increasing due to decreased demand for those instruments. Interest expense is a significant portion of the total cost of hospital expansion projects.

The article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 20, 2008 - When Anheuser-Busch's board met Friday to discuss a takeover bid by Belgian brewer InBev, any discussion about the company's future was conducted without the vote of Carlos Fernandez, chief executive of Mexico's Grupo Modelo.

He has been an Anheuser-Busch board member thanks to the agreement that gives the St. Louis company's 50.2 percent ownership of Grupo Modelo, the largest brewer in Mexico. But he quit Friday, prompting some analysts to speculate that the board may reject InBev's bid. The board has made no response to InBev; it says it is still reviewing the proposal.

Left Bank Books plans downtown bookstore

Jun 20, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 20, 2008 - Left Bank Books, one of the few remaining independent booksellers in the country and a local landmark at the corner of Euclid and McPherson avenues in the Central West End, is making moves toward establishing a second store downtown.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Over the coming weeks, the Beacon, in partnership with KETC Channel 9, will be reporting on the sticky web of issues surrounding foreclosure - a crisis for nearly 2 million Americans, including thousands in the St. Louis region who have lost their stake in the American Dream.

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.” 

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