Done deal

17 July, 2008
Rat Fink

Well it looks like Anheuser-Busch has some changes coming. The St. Louis brewery – one of the last American beer giants – was acquired, as promised by InBev, for a mere $52 billion.

According to Business Week, there are big changes coming. The CEO of InBev doesn’t do business anything like the Busch family, and I’m sure Anheuser employees aren’t relishing the impending shakedown. Check this list of soon-to-be-history perks for workers:

  • Two free cases of beer per month for every employee
  • Free admission to all Busch theme parks
  • Swanky hotel accommodations, company cars, first-class flights for execs

All of that, going by the boards. Not only will InBev’s Carlos Brito make employees fly coach and stay at Motel 6, he’ll likely take steps to liquidate some of A-B’s extravagant holdings…like, oh, the aforementioned Busch Gardens theme parks, the philanthropic work for communities that Busch has done for decades, and maybe even the precious Clydesdales themselves, who probably lead better, more luxuriant lives than you and I put together.

Can InBev survive the “culture clash?” It remains to be seen. In a way, it’s sad to see one of the few remaining American-held large corporations going the way of (in this case, hostile) takeover from across the pond. But Brito’s money — 87% of it borrowed from banks — talked, and August Busch, forced to listen, sold the family farm. A man’s gotta do…

Commenters on the article predicted Busch laughing all the way to the bank as the Belgian invader comes in and makes a hash of things, eventually unloading the company for pennies on the dollar. Maybe Busch will laugh, but I wonder about the amusement threshold of his 6,000 local employees, and indeed, the city of St. Louis as a whole.

Fink out.

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Son #2
Son #2
17 July, 2008 1:41 pm

Mother, Sad to see a large slice of Americana being devoured by the European Economic Monster (invest in the Euro!!!). However, Augustus Busch & his brood only controlled about 5% of the stock shares. They did not have much say in whether or not to sell out to the Dutchies(money talks), stock-holders are the ones to blame. InBev is really going to shake things up at the US Breweries. The era of American blue collar workers livin’ large on the company dime is over due to too much overseas competition (same boat as Ford,Chevy,etc), we were the super power at… Read more »

Son #2
Son #2
17 July, 2008 4:32 pm

Ha! I wonder when Europe will aquire another American institution. What next, a European Disney World? Oh, wait…