Anheuser-Busch (BUD, $61.18, up $0.13) is expected to have its board meeting within the next day or two to discuss InBev’s $46 billion takeover bid. The company isn’t giving an exact time on when the meeting will be held but the board will meet to consider a variety of options.
It doesn’t take a Harvard lawyer to figure out that the King of Beers will likely reject the offer by saying it’s too low. The wild card will be Warren Buffet. He owns more than 35 million shares, or nearly 5%, which is worth $2 billion give or take a few hundred million depending on the share price. Here is what one of the Busch family members said about Buffet’s stake:.
“Mr. Buffett, who holds a 5 percent stake in Anheuser-Busch has a notable reputation for assisting in matters where family ownership is at stake. His participation in the recent merger of Wrigley and Mars Inc. is evidence of his integrity. Should Mr. Buffett see this merger as a positive action for all shareholders involved, the likelihood of a deal will increase enormously.”
I hope BUD rejects the offer and says it’s too low because InBev is under-bidding despite the fact the company’s CEO saying $65 a share is fair and that’s as high as they go. Give me a break. This was no “holler at the moon” offer given BUD’s iconic nature and penetration into the U.S. market.
Another interesting development is the news that Grupo Modelo’s CEO, Carlos Fernandez, resigned from BUD’s board today. Mexican brewer Modelo and BUD have also been exploring a possible deal together. InBev has told BUD that its bid for them would be affected if BUD made any significant deal with Modelo.
Since I don’t have any stock or option positions in BUD, here’s to a rejection and a possible play for a Mexican brewer.