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InBev seals A-B merger for $52bn

Published:  23 July, 2008

Stella brewer InBev has drawn to a close its acquisition of Budweiser manufacturer Anheuser-Busch with a $52 billion offer being accepted early this morning (July 14).

The deal, which equates to $70 a share and will see the two firms "combine", is a $5-a-share increase on InBev's initial offer.

Carlos Brito, InBev chief executive, will become CEO of the combined company called Anheuser-Busch InBev. A-B will be a wholly owned subsidiary of InBev.

The Board of Directors of the combined company will be comprised of the existing directors of the InBev Board, Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV and one other current or former director from the Anheuser-Busch Board.

Brito commented: "We are very pleased to announce this historic transaction today, bringing together two great companies that share a rich history of brewing traditions.

"We are extremely excited about the opportunities that this combination will create for consumers worldwide, as well as our shareholders, employees, business partners and wholesalers. Together, Anheuser-Busch and InBev will be able to accomplish much more than each can on its own. We have been successful business partners for quite some time, and this is the natural next step for us in an increasingly competitive global environment. 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."

The newly-formed company will make St. Louis, Missouri its headquarters for the North American region - it is anticipated some 40% of revenue will be generated in the US.

August Busch IV, Anheuser-Busch CEO, said: "Today's announcement brings new opportunities for Anheuser-Busch and its business, brands and employees. This agreement provides additional and certain value for Anheuser-Busch shareholders, while enhancing global market access for Budweiser, one of America's true iconic brands. We will leverage our collective strengths to create a truly diversified, global company to sustain long-term growth and profitability. In the United States and Canada, both InBev and Anheuser-Busch have seen significant benefits from our existing relationship and we look forward to replicating this success in other parts of the world."

The transaction is subject to the approval of InBev and Anheuser-Busch shareholders, and other customary regulatory approvals.