By Ian Neubauer
A growing number individuals and superannuation funds have launched shareholder suits against Anheuser-Busch (A-B) to force it to reconsider an unsolicited takeover bid by Belgian brewing consortium InBev.
More than a dozen suites have been launched against A-B — at least seven by super funds, some with considerable clout — after the brewer’s board of directors signaled it would resist InBev’s above-market offering, the St Loius Post-Dispatch reported.
Analysts have said A-B will need to pay due diligence to the cases as anger grows among a vocal minority of shareholders. They believe the board rejected InBev’s offers to protect directors’ jobs and is not acting in the best interests of the firm.
InBev’s $47.5 billion bid represents an offer of $67.59 per share — a 30 per cent premium over A-B’s stock price before speculation surrounding the offer drove the share price to a 52-week high of $65.49 on Monday.
A-B shares were trading for $64.55 at 9:00am Australian Eastern Standard Time on the New York Stock Exchange.