Economy & Innovation | St. Louis Public Radio

Economy & Innovation

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.” 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - If you -- or someone you know -- are worried about making house payments, it's time to take action. Trouble is, mortgage talk is a language many homeowners do not understand. ARMs, resets, balloons ... and the dreaded F word: Foreclosure.

A sub-prime mortgage, for example, is not a reference to the interest rate of the loan but to the credit history of the borrowers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Get help now. Open your mail. Answer the phone. Don't avoid those calls from your lender; deal with your mortgage problems while you still can.

Anheuser-Busch must tell its compelling story

Jun 16, 2008
abwithflag300.jpg
Donna Korando | The Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 16, 2008 - Anheuser-Busch's marketing savvy has made its beer, particularly Budweiser and Bud Light, household names around the globe.

Now, though, A-B faces the promotional challenge of its 156-year independent life: effectively sell its corporate story both in its hometown and to its board and stock holders or surrender its identity to suitor, the Belgium brewer InBev.

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.

A-B workers say 'no comment'

Jun 13, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 13, 2008 - As Anheuser-Busch seemed destined to fall into the hands of InBev, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men apparently couldn’t do – or say – much about it.

All across the king of beer’s domain in St. Louis, a quiet anxiety reigned on Thursday, a day after A-B officially announced the buyout offer from the Belgium-based brewer. Only the sturdy Clydesdales at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis County seemed to be taking things in stride, peacefully grazing in their spacious pastures. Would InBev dare replace them on the beer wagon with a team of Belgian draft horses?

Commentary: Give Anheuser-Busch its due

Jun 13, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 13, 2008 - We expect a lot from the Anheuser-Busch companies and the family that runs this most iconic of St. Louis empires. They have alot of money and alot of power. Perhaps out of envy or perhaps because they sometimes deserve it, we don't always say nice things about them.

InBev has reputation of 'machete-wielding' company

Jun 13, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 13, 2008 - Just about anything you might want to know about InBev, the suitor for Anheuser-Busch, can be found in its name -- a stripped-down, technocratic-sounding word that reflects a strategy for merging breweries and cutting costs.

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?

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