June 18, 2008

McCaskill Urges Anheuser-Busch Board to Reject Offer

Letter sent after the Missouri senator met with InBev CEO

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today sent the following letter to the Anheuser-Busch board of directors urging them to reject InBev’s offer to purchase the company.  McCaskill met with InBev CEO Carlos Brito at his request on Tuesday afternoon.  In their meeting, McCaskill expressed her opposition to the deal. 
 
 
June 18, 2008
 
Board of Directors
Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
One Busch Place, 202-6
St. Louis, Missouri  63118
 
Dear Ladies/Gentlemen:
 
As you know, InBev has submitted an unsolicited offer for the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch, Inc.  The offer and supporting materials from InBev are before you for review and consideration.  I write to urge that as you examine the financial aspects of the offer, you also consider what this great and profitable company represents to St. Louis, the state of Missouri, and the rest of America.  In doing so, I hope you will reject the purchase offer.
 
Since its founding over 150 years ago, Anheuser-Busch and its family of beers have become synonymous with American ingenuity, quality, and excellence.  Budweiser is recognized as “The King of Beers” not because of the company’s market capitalization, annual earnings, or the value of its assets.  It is based upon the tremendous pride from a dedicated workforce to sustain a company that has come to define us as a country.  This commitment is an intangible that cannot be valued on a spreadsheet or ledger, but it is part of Anheuser-Busch’s success as our country’s largest brewer. 
 
You have a fiduciary duty to the company and its shareholders, and I have tremendous respect for your wisdom as business leaders.  My hope is that you will look beyond a cold calculation of the “bottom line” of the InBev offer, and identify what steps Anheuser-Busch can take to allow for its continued growth, while retaining its uniquely American heritage.  Clearly, if this sale is allowed to occur, major changes in this company, its marketing, its workforce, and its culture would be necessary.  While Anheuser-Busch must continue to work on cost-cutting and growth, the dramatic steps that would be necessary to make this deal work would be a big negative to the community.  Do not hesitate to contact me to discuss ways that I and community leaders can work with you to improve the company without changing its ownership. 
 
Thank you for your continued dedication to making Anheuser-Busch one of the best American companies in the country.
 
Sincerely,
 
CLAIRE MCCASKILL
United States Senate