InBev CEO to meet U.S. lawmakers on Anheuser-Busch bid

BRUSSELS Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:28pm EDT

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The chief executive of InBev INTB.BR is to meet U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday to explain the rationale of his company's $46.4 billion bid for rival Anheuser-Busch (BUD.N), an Inbev spokeswoman said.

"This is part of his desire to explain his growth strategy and his commitment to preserve the heritage of Anheuser-Busch," the spokeswoman said.

InBev announced its unsolicited bid last week and has not yet received a formal answer from Anheuser-Busch's board.

InBev Chief Executive Carlos Brito has said he is aiming for a friendly deal and vowed to keep the home of Budweiser, America's "King of Beers," in St Louis.

A deal would bring together InBev with its big operations in Western Europe, Brazil and Canada with Anheuser's businesses in the United States, Mexico and China, and fuse the second- and fourth-largest brewers to overtake world leader SABMiller Plc (SAB.L).

According to media reports, Anheuser is in preliminary merger talks with Grupo Modelo (GMODELOC.MX), the Mexican brewer in which it owns a 50 percent stake. It is aiming to use a tie-up with the maker of Corona beer to thwart a takeover by InBev.

Anheuser refused to comment on the reports.

(Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Editing by Erica Billingham)