InBev Hopes Threes a Charm

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InBev Hopes Threes a Charm

BRUSSELS -- In business, persistence pays off. This is the intention of InBev Chief Executive Carlos Brito, who has reaffirmed the company's desire to combine with Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. (A-B), in what is the third letter to August A. Busch IV, president and chief executive, and the A-B Board of Directors.

In the letter, InBev reaffirmed its $65-a-share all-cash proposal to combine with A-B, which represents a 35 percent premium over Anheuser's 30-day average share price prior to recent market speculation.

"In my June 11 letter I indicated that InBev had received the strong support of a group of leading financial institutions with respect to providing all of the financing required for the combination of our two great companies," Brito wrote. "To demonstrate our conviction in this combination, we have executed commitment letters for the financing and have paid approximately $50 million in commitment fees to a lending group comprised of Banco Santander, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Fortis, ING Bank, JP Morgan, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland."

A-B is yet to react officially on the offer, though there are rumors that the family members who control the company are divided in their views, reported RTTN News. After InBev's fisrt offer, A-B reportedly tried to broker a deal with Mexico's Grupo Modelo SA about a possible union, which prompted InBev's second letter confirming the deal on June 15. Upon receipt of the third letter, A-B continues its silent deliberation.

According to RTTN News, InBev's rival SABMiller PLC, the world's biggest brewer by volume, recently agreed to combine its U.S. division with that of Molson Coors. Though InBev operates in 30 countries with sales in over 130 countries, the company generates less than 1 percent of its beer volume in the U.S.
To date, the U.S. accounts for nearly a third of world beer profit, of which A-B has 48.5 percent share of U.S. beer sales.