US: Anheuser-Busch rubbishes "self-serving" InBev

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The takeover battle between InBev and Anheuser-Busch has taken an acrimonious twist, with A-B dismissing InBev's latest move in the saga as a "self-serving effort".

The US brewer was responding yesterday (7 July) to InBev's attempts to push for the removal of its board members. The Belgium-based company has filed a preliminary consent solicitation statement, which will seek to remove each member of A-B's board of directors.

A-B described the attempt to seek to replace its board with InBev's hand-picked nominees as "a self-serving effort by InBev to try to purchase A-B for a price A-B's independent board already has determined to be financially inadequate and not in the best interest of shareholders".

"A-B shareholders should ask themselves whether the directors selected by InBev would negotiate the best transaction for A-B shareholders," the company said.

In rejecting InBev's US$65-per-share offer last week, A-B said it would be open to consider any proposal that would provide full and certain value to A-B shareholders. "InBev has made no attempt to provide such an offer," A-B said, "nor has it provided details of its self-proclaimed financing, including the conditions to its financing.

"InBev's non-binding proposal is not a firm offer and could even be lowered. Its proposal is merely an invitation to negotiate. A-B believes its present board of directors is in a better position to create the best value for its shareholders than a slate proposed by InBev and the election of which is being paid for by InBev."

In a further twist, A-B said its shareholders should be aware that InBev has "a significant partnership" with the government of Cuba to produce and distribute products in Cuba. "InBev has not commented on how that would impact business with A-B's customers, nor on its ability to complete an acquisition under US laws that affect acquisitions of US companies by foreign companies."

The US currently operates an embargo against Cuba, due to the Government's disapproval of Cuba's political situation.

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Anheuser-Busch InBev

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