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US: Shareholder accuses Anheuser-Busch of duty breach

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An Anheuser-Busch shareholder has slapped a lawsuit on the brewer, claiming it has failed to consider properly signs of interest in a possible takeover offer from InBev.

The lawsuit, filed in St Louis last week by James Mayfield, accuses A-B's board of breaching their fiduciary duties, preferring to "entrench themselves in office".

Members of the Busch family have also been accused of "refusing to meet with InBev and have discouraged any public bid for Anheuser-Busch by stating that no company will acquire Anheuser-Busch while they sit on the company's board of directors", Mayfield's writ claims.

When contacted by just-drinks today (9 June), A-B confirmed that it had received the lawsuit. "We learned of the shareholder lawsuit filed in St. Louis and are reviewing its claims," said Gary Rutledge, A-B's vice president of legal and government affairs. "When it comes to speculation about our business, however, Anheuser-Busch's policy has been consistent: we do not confirm, deny or comment on rumours."

Although there has not been confirmation yet, InBev is widely believed to be preparing a US$46bn takeover bid of A-B, whose CEO, August Busch IV, was reported last week as saying that a takeover of the brewer would not occur "on my watch".


Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: Anheuser-Busch InBev

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