Business Case Studies, Mergers, Acquisitions and Takeovers Case Study, InBev’s Acquisition of Anheuser-Busch, American Beer with Belgian Spirit?

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Mergers, Acquisitions and Takeovers Case Study

Case Title:

InBev’s Acquisition of Anheuser-Busch: American Beer with Belgian Spirit?

Publication Year : 2009

Authors: Sai Prasanna Ragu, Muthukumar R

Industry: Beverages


Case Code: MAA0164

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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The race was on for an unassailable lead in the global beer industry as Belgian-Brazilian InBev made an unsolicited takeover bid for the American Anheuser-Busch. With the fear of losing its 150 years of independence, Busch family initially rebuffed the offer and tried all means to scuttle the deal. After a month long battle during June–July 2008, with contentious wrangling amid lawsuits and Securities and Exchange Commission filings, InBev sweetened the offer by increasing the bid from $65 per share to $70 per share. Holding less than 4% controlling stake in the company and diverse opinions among the family about the deal, Anheuser-Busch had little or no chances of avoiding the deal. Finally on July 12th 2008, Bud was ready to wear a foreign crown. Could anything reflect American loss of economic supremacy more visibly than for its iconic beer to fall into foreign hands? Though the deal would create the world’s leading beer giant ahead of SABMiller, doubts loom large regarding realising the anticipated synergies, amid diverse cultures and other complexities. Further, will the Bud give InBev a global competitive edge?

Pedagogical Objectives:

    The case study can be used:
  • To examine the growing competition in the beer industry and conduct competitive analysis on major players
  • To discuss the (changing) critical success factors of the global beer industry
  • To identify the factors that are driving consolidation and globalisation in the global beer industry
  • To examine the desirability and viability of InBev’s hostile takeover bid for Anheuser-Busch
  • To analyse the problems in integrating corporate and national cultures, particularly in a cross-border acquisition like InBev and A-B.

Keywords : Global Beer Industry, SABMiller, Interbrew, AmBev, Budweiser, Bud Light, Carlos Brito, Grupo Modelo, Adolphus Busch IV, Global Brewers, Brand Positioning, Stella Artois, Category Wars, Beer Consumption Patterns, Consolidation and globalisation

Changing Dynamics of the Beer Industry
Top Brewers in Different National Markets by the end of 1997
Global Brewers Growth through Acquisitions during 2003–2005
Different Beer Options for Consumers
InBev – Its Aggressive Growth Strategies
Top 5 Beverages Companies for 2007
Geographic Segmentation of InBev’s 2007 Revenues
Anheuser-Busch – The American Iconic Brewer

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