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Busch family divided over possible takeover

While speculation that family-run brewer Anheuser Busch is to be taken over by rival InBev is reaching fever pitch, the Busch family has revealed it is split on whether it would be in favour of such a move.

Current CEO and family member Adolphus Busch IV told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that while some family members were open to holding talks with InBev, others were firmly against the idea. The company itself has so far remained silent.

It was reported last week that InBev, which has a well developed presence in Europe but has limited scope in the US, was considering a $65-a-share bid for Anheuser, owners of the Budweiser brand.

Busch IV, who became the fifth member of his family to run the business in December 2006, is against any possible deal. However, the board of directors – which includes his father, August Busch III – may have other ideas as the family does not have voting control.

"It is now too late for the family to gather and decide what to do," believes family business advisor Tom Davidow. "These discussions should have already happened over time.

"The only thing that those family members who are against the deal can possibly do is not sell their shares, which may be enough to make a bloc that is sufficiently large to ward off any buyer who would not wish to take the family on."

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