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InBev to buy Bud

14 July 2008 No Comment

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Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc accepted a sweetened $52 billion takeover bid from Belgium-based InBev NV NV, creating the world’s largest beer maker and placing an iconic U.S. company into foreign hands.

Ending a month-long standoff, InBev, which makes Stella Artois and Beck’s, agreed to pay $70 per share in cash for the maker of Budweiser, up from its original unsolicited bid of $65 per share, both companies said on Monday. The
improved offer marked a 27 percent premium to Anheuser’s record-high stock price in October 2002.

The deal, which InBev and analysts expect to gain regulatory approval, would be the largest cash transaction in history, according to research firm Dealogic and the second- biggest ever foreign takeover of a U.S. company after Vodafone Group Plc’s $60.3 billion acquisition of AirTouch Communications in 1999, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The combined Anheuser-Busch InBev would have about $36.4 billion in annual net sales, with 40 percent coming from the United States, and would brew about a quarter of the world’s beer.

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