Anheuser-Busch slated to reject InBev deal

PHILADELPHIA Several major media outlets have reported that Anheuser-Busch Co. will reject the $46.3 billion takeover bid made by European beer giant InBev NV—maker of Stella Artois and Beck’s—because the offer undervalues the worth of A-B’s operations.

At this point in the negotiation process, InBev could raise its offer and return to the bidding table with a new bid, or go directly to A-B’s shareholders, sources said. According to analysts, that offer may have to be raised to close to $50 billion in order to entice shareholders who would see their stocks go up to $70 a share instead of $65. A-B stock rang in at $62.03 per share today during morning trading.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that in response to InBev’s offer, Anheuser-Busch will make the proactive move to plan out restructuring plan. Sources said the plan will include the sale of the company’s theme park operations, sale of Anheuser-Busch’s packaging unit and also cover many layoffs. Anheuser-Busch will also need to plan on trimming costs in order to save up a surplus of $500 million, other news sources added.

Earlier this month, Fortune magazine ranked St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch the No. 1 beverage company in its 2008 Most Admired U.S. and Global Companies list. Anheuser-Busch is the brewer of Budweiser beer.

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