Monday, June 23, 2008

Only $50 Billion to go!

Schlafly Beer is dedicated to taking pride in our hometown brews. Not only do we enjoy beers brewed by our neighbors, but it allows us to give back to our community and our local economy. To that end we can not exclude one of our larger brewing brethren, the St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch.

So...the portending purchase of the storied business by InBev means that many of the beers quaffed in our fair city will no longer be from a local brewer.

In order to remedy that, Schlafly Beer is attempting to raise the capital to purchase the Belgian-based InBev.

We may have fallen short of our bid to purchase the St. Louis Cardinals when A-B sold the franchise in 1994, but maybe, just maybe, we can bring a St. Louis institution back to St. Louis.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Latest News on InBev Takeover Of A-B

Here's a few recent articles looking at the–now potentially inevitable–takeover of A-B.

The most intriguing are unconfirmed reports that Warren Buffett is supporting the deal. If the Yoda of the investment world backs the buyout, it's likely shareholder support for the Busch family will evaporate.

Potential purchase of Modelo still out there. A-B may purchase Modelo in a move to try and put the company out of the reach, financially, of InBev.

A-B warned against the Modelo deal by InBev.

InBev will likely need to up its offer from $65 to $70 a share.

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and Senator Kit Bond ask for FTC to intervene in the deal. Analysts quoted in the article doubt any action forthcoming because A-B is already the sole distributor of InBev products in the United States.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

InBev Makes Its Bid

The international beer conglomerate made it official this week that they are making a bid to purchase Anheuser-Busch. If successful, the new company would control approximately 1/4 of the world beer market.

News reports so far indicate that A-B may have a difficult time fending off the unsolicited offer.

InBev is offering $46 billion for the company, about $65 cash for each share of A-B's stock. When the market closed on Wednesday, A-B stock was selling for $58.35. An 11% return on the stock would be hard for the shareholders to turn down, especially a cash offer versus a stock swap or other instrument.

More coverage is available on the Post-Dispatch's website. P-D columnist Dave Nicklaus offers some first thoughts about the offer.
This is the beginning, not the end. The Microsoft-Yahoo drama took three months to play out — Microsoft launched its bid Feb. 1 and formally abandoned it May 4 — and it may not be over yet. The plot could take many twists and turns from here, so stay tuned.

Other coverage from the New York Times and the Financial Times.

Also, here's InBev's own take on their move.
"We have the highest respect for Anheuser-Busch, its employees and its leadership, who have built the leading brewer in the U.S. and grown the iconic Budweiser brand. Together, we would draw on the collective expertise of both companies' management and employees...The combination will create a stronger, more competitive, sustainable global company which will benefit all stakeholders."
And here is A-B's response to the unsolicited cash bid.
"Anheuser-Busch said that its board of directors will evaluate the proposal carefully and in the context of all relevant factors, including Anheuser-Busch's long-term strategic plan. The board will review the merits of the proposal consistent with its fiduciary duties and in consultation with its financial and legal advisers. The board will pursue the course of action that is in the best interests of Anheuser-Busch's stockholders."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Craft Beer Growing Strong, 12% in 2007

The Brewer's Association detailed the 12% growth in the craft beer market, everything from the local brewpub over to the growing number of regional and larger breweries.

The print edition of the BA journal, The New Brewer, has the detailed breakdown. For a quick look at some of the stats, the BA has posted some of their numbers on the website.

As the macro breweries are finding trouble expanding their share in the U.S. market, craft brewers are still growing. The difference? Education. As the consumer learns more about the craft beer available to them, they begin to expand their buying habits. There is no one brewer benefiting over others, a rising tide as it were.

How long can the craft industry experience double-digit growth? It's hard to say. Economic instability hasn't been felt too strongly in the industry yet, but if trouble grows, it just might.

For now, however, it's time to raise a pint of your favorite craft beer pint!

Top 50

In the most recent edition of The New Brewer, the journal published by the Brewers Association, the association broke down the stats for the 2007 craft beer market.

Near the end of their detailed report is a list of the top 50 breweries by volume.

And....squeaking in at #50 is Schlafly with just over 18,000 barrels sold last year.

Thanks to all of our loyal fans and friends. If you didn't keep drinking it, we wouldn't keep brewing it! Although if we didn't brew it, you couldn't drink it, and on we spiral down an infinite circle.....yikes. It's time for a Kolsch to sooth my spinning mind.
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