Inbev goes hostile to net Anheuser

08 July, 2008

Inbev has upped the stakes in its attempt to buy Anheuser-Busch by proposing the removal of the entire board of the US brewer.

The move puts pressure on Anheuser to agree a sale or face the possibility of a revolt by shareholders to side with Inbev.

That could lead to an Inbev-proposed board – including Adolphus Busch IV, uncle of Anheuser chief executive Augusut Busch IV – being voted in to push through the deal.

Inbev said it would seek clearance for its plan from the US Securities & Exchange Commission, marking an increase in hostility levels for its proposed $46bn takeover of the Budweiser brewer.

Inbev chief executive Carlos Brito said: “Our strong preference remains to enter into a constructive dialogue with Anheuser-Busch to achieve a friendly combination that comprehensively addresses the interests of all constituents.”

A statement from Anheuser-Busch headquarters in St Louis described Inbev’s proposals to remove the board as “a self-serving effort to try to purchase a price determined to be financially inadequate”.

It added: “Anheuser-Busch shareholders should ask themselves whether the directors selected by Inbev would negotiate the best transaction for Anheuser-Busch shareholders.”

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