BRUSSELS, Belgium, July 7 /TMRzoo.com/ — InBev (Euronext: INB) announced that it will file later today a preliminary consent solicitation statement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission seeking to remove each member of the board of directors of Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. (NYSE:BUD) and provide Anheuser-Busch shareholders an opportunity to have a direct voice in the proposed combination with InBev.
The highly-qualified slate of directors proposed by InBev is composed of Marjorie L. Bowen, Adolphus A. Busch IV, G. Peter D’Aloia, Ronald W. Dollens, James E. Healey, John N. Lilly, Allan Z. Loren, Ernest Mario, Henry A. McKinnell, Paul M. Meister, William T. Vinson, Lawrence Keith Wimbush and Larry D. Yost.
On June 11, 2008, InBev announced a proposal for a friendly combination to create the world’s leading beer company through an acquisition of all the outstanding common shares of Anheuser-Busch at $65 per share in cash, representing an immediate premium of 35% over the unaffected share price and a premium of 18% over the previous all-time high in October, 2002.
Carlos Brito, Chief Executive Officer of InBev, said:
“Our strong preference remains to enter into a constructive dialogue with Anheuser-Busch to achieve a friendly combination that comprehensively addresses the interests of all constituents. We believe our firm offer of $65 per share reflects the full and fair value of Anheuser-Busch and is a compelling proposal for shareholders. The proposal is backed by fully committed financing and provides immediate certainty of value in a weakened stock market environment.
“In comparison, the Anheuser-Busch newly formulated plan entails significant execution risks and does little to address the fundamental competitive challenges the company faces in an increasingly global industry, wherein a competitive brand portfolio, a worldwide distribution network and economies of scale are key drivers of success. Our proposal seeks to deliver immediate value to Anheuser-Busch shareholders, while building a stronger, more competitive company to the benefit of all constituents, including consumers, employees, wholesalers, business partners and the communities we serve.”
To date, Anheuser-Busch has been unwilling to engage with InBev in a dialogue to achieve a friendly combination. As such, InBev believes it is time to take action to ensure Anheuser-Busch shareholders are provided the opportunity to have a direct voice in the process and a say in the future direction of the company.
InBev’s proposed slate is composed of experienced, distinguished business executives, including a number of former chief executive officers of leading US public companies across various sectors. They are committed to acting in the best interests of Anheuser-Busch shareholders and will take an independent view on the proposed combination.
On June 26, 2008, InBev filed suit in Delaware to confirm that Anheuser-Busch shareholders have the ability under Delaware law to remove without cause all thirteen members of the Anheuser-Busch Board. Under Anheuser-Busch’s charter and Delaware law it is clear that the eight directors elected after 2006, who together constitute a majority of the Anheuser-Busch Board, are subject to removal and replacement without cause through the written consent procedure. The purpose of the filing is merely to confirm InBev’s strong belief that the five directors elected in 2006 may also be removed and replaced through that same mechanism.
InBev will submit a request to the Anheuser-Busch Board to set a record date for the consent solicitation in due course. Anheuser-Busch is required to respond within 10 days of this request with a record date. For InBev’s proposals in the consent solicitation to become effective, written consents would need to be properly completed by the holders of a majority of Anheuser-Busch shares outstanding as of the close of business on the record date.
All of InBev’s proposed director nominees are unaffiliated with InBev, and, with the exception of Mr. Adolphus A. Busch IV, are independent of Anheuser-Busch for NYSE purposes. InBev’s proposed slate of director nominees includes:
– Marjorie L. Bowen, a former managing director of Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin, an international investment bank, where she also served as a national director of the firm’s fairness opinion practice.
– Adolphus A. Busch IV, the founder and chairman of the Great Rivers Habitat Alliance, a conservation organization founded in 2000. Mr. Busch is the great-grandson and namesake of the founder of Anheuser-Busch. He is the uncle of Mr. August A. Busch IV (the current president and chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch) and the half-brother of August Busch III (the former chairman, president and chief executive officer and current director of Anheuser-Busch).
– G. Peter D’Aloia, the former senior vice president and chief financial officer of Trane Inc., formerly known as American Standard Companies Inc.
– Ronald W. Dollens, the former president and chief executive officer of Guidant Corporation, which merged with the Boston Scientific Corporation in 2006.
– James E. Healey, the former senior vice president and chief financial officer of Nabisco Group Holdings.
– John N. Lilly, the former chief executive officer of The Pillsbury Company.
– Allan Z. Loren, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Dun & Bradstreet, Inc.
– Ernest Mario, the former chief executive officer of Glaxo Holdings plc.
– Henry A. McKinnell, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer, Inc.
– Paul M. Meister, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Liberty Lane Partners, LLC, a private investment firm and former executive vice president, vice chairman and chief financial officer of Fisher Scientific International, Inc.
– William T. Vinson, the former vice president and chief counsel of the Lockheed Martin Corporation.
– Lawrence Keith Wimbush, adjunct professor of law at Thomas Cooley Law School, former senior client partner and co-practice leader in the legal specialist group of Korn/Ferry International.
– Larry D. Yost, former chairman and chief executive officer of ArvinMeritor, Inc.
The complete terms of the solicitation are contained in the Consent Solicitation Statement dated July 7, 2008, which will be filed with the SEC later today. Anheuser-Busch stockholders may obtain copies of the Consent Solicitation Statement at the SEC’s website (www.sec.gov) once filed or by directing a request to Innisfree M&A at + 1(877) 750-9501 (toll-free) or if a bank or broker, collect at +1 (212) 750-5833.
Information for Consumers, Employees, Wholesalers, Business Partners and Communities is available at www.globalbeerleader.com or www.inbev.com.