Family-run brewer Anheuser-Busch has announced that it has received an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from Europe-based rival InBev to acquire all of the company’s outstanding shares for $65 per share in cash.
The US company has said that its board of directors will “evaluate the proposal carefully and in the context of all relevant factors, including Anheuser-Busch's long-term strategic plan.” The company said the board expects to make a decision on the bid, which includes $40 billion in debt, “in due course.”
The combination of Anheuser-Busch and InBev would create the global leader in the beer industry with net sales of $36.4 billion. InBev said it would invite a number of Anheuser-Busch’s directors to join the board of the combined company, without mentioning any by name. In addition, it proposes to name the combined company “to evoke Anheuser-Busch’s heritage.”
Last month the Busch family revealed it was split on whether it would be in favour of a takeover. CEO and family member Adolphus Busch IV said that while some family members were open to holding talks with InBev, others were firmly against the idea.
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.