Monday 14 July 2008

Surprise Capitulation by A-B

Well, well, well. Who would have thought after all the legal posturing over the last couple of weeks that Anheuser-Busch would accept InBev's bid?

It did seem that A-B was adopting the classic 'attack is the best form of defence' strategy when they filed the famous 'liar, liar pants on fire' law suit in Missouri.

Basically, last week (amongst other allegations) A-B said InBev had hatched an 'illegal plan and scheme' to 'acquire control of Anheuser-Busch at a bargain price' - something all big American companies would always think twice about of course!

And also that the Belgian company had 'launched a campaign of acquisition rumors' - which I, for one, don't believe ever happens during take-overs at all! And insider trading is just a conspiracy theory too!!!

Anyway, the most interesting thing that they claimed was that InBev's financing was, shall we say, a little bit on the shaky side - which begs the question of how it was dodgy last week and now suddenly all fine this week?

Regardless of all the above my major fear, which has just been realised, is that there is going to be a big beer behemoth owning a very large percentage of the American beer market and - even more terrifyingly - big corporate brewers will own 80% of the beer volume.

This will undoubtedly not only have an enormous impact on the US market but is guaranteed to have an impact on our shores soon too.

I do hope that the Parliamentary PubCo inquiry takes a long-term view on this as a potential future issue for tied pubs.

Why? Well, if any of the big companies decide to get into bed with Anheuser-Busch InBev then choice will be so drastically reduced for so many licensees - not to mention consumers - that it could set back the progress of local, regional and speciality beers in a big (and in some cases possibly fatal) way.

Worrying, it really is...

p.s. I really hope they didn't pay a flashy branding company to come up with that name, which is inevitably going to be shortened to ABIB - best joke around that wins a prize! Don't know what yet but it will inevitably involve beer!


Anonymous said...

Hmm, doesn't "habib" mean something like "darling" or "honey" in arabic ? ...
Any hint there at future plans of world domination through alcohol-free beer ?

Melissa Cole said...

Close, habibi is the word - I'd like to see them try that business strategy a) because it would give me an enormously good laugh and b) because it would wipe out all my concerns about this merger in one fell swoop!

Anonymous said...

Well... ABIB's two halves are already well on the way of eradicating taste as far as many of their flagship brands are concerned, so one could assume eradicating alcohol as well shouldn't be *that* difficult either.


TrillianAstra said...

I'm sure there must be a pun to be made using the similarity of ABIB and 'imbibe', but that (and the 'habibi' suggestion too) just sounds too upmarket.