Anheuser-Busch Fighting Takeover

July 13th, 2008 | Posted in Current Events, Hot Topics, Money Issues | Comments Off

Anheuser-Busch, maker of Budwiser products has recently come under attack. A foreign company, the belgian brewer InBev has now made several offers to buy the American brewery. InBev offered $65 a share, which Anheuser-Busch flatly turned down. Now it’s apparently round two as InBev has offered $70 a share.

Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway is Anheuser-Busch’s second-largest shareholder is apparently in favor of the deal. Well, I guess that proves that having a lot of money doesn’t necessarily make you intelligent OR patriotic.

Anheuser-Busch was founded in St. Louis, Missouri in 1852 and has always been American owned and operated. Today they employ over six thousand people that, as far as I know, get good benefits and are treated well by the company.

The Budwiser Lager Beer Brand has been an American product since it’s introduction in 1876 and has long been advertised and hailed by many as “The King of Beers”. In many establishments, particularly in St. Louis, MO., Anheuser-Busch products are the only ones’ sold and their customers wouldn’t have it any other way.

It is a distinctly American product and there’s a lot of people out there that want very much to keep it that way. There’s been entirely too much of foreign investors coming to this country and buying up our companies and our land. Even if the jobs remain here, the profits flow to those who’ve bought the thing and they’re not here. Foreign investors owning so much of American business and property is becoming a drain on our economy that we can ill afford to permit any longer.

There are petitions to let the shareholders of Anheuser-Busch know that Americans in general and their customers in particular do not want them to sell to InBev or anyone else. One is Save AB.COM which says that 69970 people have signed so far and anther one at petitiononline .com claiming 62028 signatures as of this writing.

The resistance to foreign takeover has more to it than just people not liking change. There are some serious concerns about InBev’s business practices.

It doesn’t really matter if you think Bud products taste like piss in a bottle, the fact is that when foreign InBev takes over companies, they do some pretty serious cost cutting measures, and many of the life long loyal employees of the brewery could be let go.

-Kat of Kat’s blog

According to this news story, InBev has a nasty history of implementing severe “cost cutting” measures on companies that it takes over.

Union leaders representing InBev workers in Brazil, Canada and Europe have a simple message for Anheuser-Busch employees if InBev takes control of the St. Louis-based brewery:

Watch out.

“They should worry, because the production is going to be concentrated and the work force reduced,” says Siderlei Oliveira, president of Brazil’s 1.2 million-member food workers union, citing a reduction in Brazil’s brewery workers to 13,000 from 23,000 since the 1990s. “This is the strategy that they have.”

This means that if this acquisition is permitted to happen, it is very likely that thousands of American jobs could be at stake. As if our economy didn’t have enough trouble now, let’s just kill off another few thousand jobs and see what happens. From what I’ve read, union reps and employees themselves have plenty of good reasons to be negative about InBev and what it will do to any company that it takes over.

I have never been much of a beer drinker myself and in all likelihood that’s probably not going to change. We’ve got a few bottles of beer sitting on a shelf since a couple – three years ago and they’ve never been opened. But then again, This is not about being a beer drinker, it’s about being an American.

Anheuser-Busch is and always has been an American company. It’s time to stop the bleeding of American businesses, jobs, property and money out of our country. Our economy is in pretty sad shape these days, there’s been layoffs and plant closings all over the place. Financial institutions that have been in business and rock solid stable for over a hundred years or more are finding themselves in trouble. The last thing we need is for any more American businesses or property to be bought and controlled by foreign investors.

So I’ll echo Kat’s sentiment and say that even if you’ve never had a drink in your life or can’t stand Anheuser-Busch products it doesn’t matter. The Great American Lager needs to remain American owned and operated and InBev needs to be sent packing.

You can add your voice to the petitions at Save AB.COM and at petitiononline .com

Technorati Tags: work force reduced, consolidate production, save ab, cut workforce, stop inbev, hostile takeover, cost cutting measures, cost cutting, budwiser, inbev, cut jobs, takeover, the great american lager, reduce workforce, budwiser lager beer, anheuser-busch, petition

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