Anheuser-Busch Agrees to $52B Takeover

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After 156 years, a brewing company that grew into an icon of American business is being sold to Europeans.

Anheuser Busch Cos. said early Monday it had agreed to a $52 billion takeover bid from Inbev.

The deal will create the world's largest brewer and the fourth-largest consumer product company. The new company will be named Anheuser-Busch InBev.

A joint press released announced that the two sides had struck the deal.

"This combination will create a stronger, more competitive global company with an unrivaled worldwide brand portfolio and distribution network, with great potential for growth all over the world," Carlos Brito, CEO of InBev, said in the statement.

It is not clear how long the approval process may take. Some Missouri politicians are worried about how the merger will affect Anheuser-Busch employees, especially the almost 6,000 people located at the Busch headquarters in St. Louis.

InBev will be using St. Louis as its North American headquarters, and it will keep open all 12 of Anheuser-Busch's North American breweries. The company has not announced if layoffs will be a result of the merger.

Brito will be CEO of the combined company. Shareholders will receive $70 a share, a $5 increase over the offer Anheuser-Busch rejected in June.

Analysts estimate the new company will have worldwide net sales of about $36 billion a year. The two companies have close to 300 consumer brands, including Anheuser's Budweiser and Bud Light and InBev's Stella Artois and Beck's.

Sources: The Associated Press, Wall Street Journal

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