Things are getting even more interesting in what now seems destined to become a hostile takeover attempt of Anheuser-Busch by Belgium-based InBev. With the Wall Street Journal now reporting that A-B is expected to soon officially reject InBev’s bid for the company, arguing that it undervalues the American brewer, reports are now emerging that SABMiller has held closed talks with Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, along with InBev.
Confused? Don’t be, here’s how it all plays out:
A-B, in an alleged attempt to increase its value to beyond what InBev can afford, is reportedly interested in acquiring the 50% of Modelo it doesn’t already own. InBev, in an effort to keep this from happening, has apparently approached Modelo – whose CEO has publicly stated that the brewery intends to remain “proudly Mexican” – to assure the company that should its attempt to take over A-B be successful, the Mexican company would retain all its options, including keeping the status quo, buying back A-B’s stake or selling itself to a third party, this all according to sources reported in the International Herald Tribune.
To that third option, enter SABMiller, which evidently has its own interest in acquiring Modelo. Will Modelo be interested in becoming “proudly Mexican-American-British-South African”? Is A-B serious about its fight or simply bluffing in an attempt to squeeze a better price out of InBev? Is the fact that SABMiller is now nosing around mean that a competitive bid for A-B may be in the works? All this and more will be revealed in the coming weeks and months.
As for how it all will affect the beer you sell and drink, well, the answer to that is probably not at all. But still, it does make for a good story.