By Ian Neubauer
The implied warning appeared in a letter signed by InBev CEO, Carlos Brito, and sent to Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV after it was revealed the Busch Family had contacted Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo to investigate the possibility of creating a coalition that could make the combined companies too expensive for InBev to buy.
Anheuser-Busch already owns 50 per cent of the Mexican company.
“It is our strong belief that no alternative transaction that you could effectuate would create more value for your shareholders,” The Wall Street Journal reported Brito as saying. “We would expect that prior to proceeding with any alternative transaction, especially if your shareholders will not be given the opportunity to vote on it, you would first fully explore our offer.”
A reverse course by InBev could also trigger mass lawsuits by Anheuser-Busch shareholders demanding compensation from management for not acting in shareholder’s interests, analysts said.
The Busch Family is reportedly leading a charge to keep the brewer in American hands, soliciting the aid of politicians, patriots and special interest groups across the US.
Anheuser-Busch is North America’s most prominent brewer, maker of the Budweiser family of beers.
InBev has more than 200 beer brands in its portfolio, included Stella Artois and Beck’s.