Is Anheuser-Busch Ripe For A Takeover?
Posted by Bob Skilnik on June 7, 2007
Beverage Daily is fueling speculation that Anheuser-Busch might be targeted for a takeover. This adds to an earlier report by the New York Post that Hedge fund manager and activist shareholder William Ackman reportedly wants to invest in an iconic company, i.e., Anheuser-Busch. So far, Ackman has raised $2 billion “to invest in an unnamed company with a market capitalization of $30 billion to $40 billion with three divisions.” A-B could fit the bill.
As a result of all the buzz, call options traded on A-B have increased to a new high and A-B’s common stock is also rising.
Anheuser-Busch had sales of $15.7 billion last year, almost 80 percent of it from beer. The company gets about 7.5 percent of revenue from the theme parks unit that includes Busch Gardens and SeaWorld, and about 11 percent comes from its packaging unit that makes aluminum cans for its own beer and soft drinks produced by PepsiCo Inc. bottlers. A-B also began importing InBev’s European brands such as Bass and Stella Artois to take advantage of demand for overseas brews, an acknowledgment that the brewery has become too dependent on the U.S., where growth has slowed.