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Budweiser Brewer Talking To Corona Maker To Fend off InBev

Budweiser Brewer Talking To Corona Maker To Fend off InBev

People familiar with the matter said Anheuser, owner of the Budweiser beer brand, recently approached Carlos Fernandez, chief executive of Modelo and an Anheuser director, after news surfaced that InBev was weighing an unsolicited bid for Anheuser. InBev, which brews Stella Artois, made its takeover plans official on Wednesday, offering to buy the iconic Budweiser maker for $US46.4 billion ($49.7 billion) in cash, or $US65 a share. Anheuser-Busch already owns a non-controlling stake of about 50 per cent in Modelo, the largest Mexican brewer by sales and owner of the Corona beer line, and could potentially thwart InBev's approach by buying the rest of Modelo, making the combined company too big for InBev to swallow. Anheuser-Busch and Modelo declined to comment. The Budweiser owner has said its board would carefully evaluate InBev's offer and respond in "due course". Modelo's Mr Fernandez would have a significant role in an Anheuser-Modelo deal, according to a source, who also said Anheuser also believes the $US65-a-share offer dramatically undervalues the St Louis beer maker. It isn't clear what kind of transaction Anheuser-Busch and Modelo have discussed, and there are enormous hurdles for any tie-up. Modelo would have to be willing to lose its cherished independence to allow Anheuser-Busch to take over. Both companies would also have to put aside years of hostility and resentments that have built up during their partnership, which dates to the early 1990s. [...more]

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