NEW YORK (Reuters) - Following is the text of Adolphus A. Busch IV’s letter to the board of Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc (BUD.N) in support of accepting a takeover bid from Belgian-Brazilian brewer InBev NV INTB.BR:
To the Board of Directors of Anheuser-Busch:
Since rumors first surfaced regarding a possible combination of Anheuser-Busch and InBev, I have, like most Anheuser-Busch shareholders and all Busch family members, pondered the future of our company. At first I assumed that we would have to make a very difficult choice between an excellent price for my Anheuser-Busch shares and the legacy created by my family. As I reflected on the recent changes in the global beer business, the performance of Anheuser-Busch’s share price over the last decade and the terms of the proposal being made to us by InBev, I realized that it is really not a choice at all. We can achieve value for our shareholders and preserve the legacy that has been created by the Busch family.
The proposal that has now been made by InBev contains a number of public commitments that satisfy my primary concerns:
* Budweiser will be the global flagship brand
* The company will be named to reflect the Anheuser-Busch heritage
* St. Louis will be the North American headquarters
* Ongoing commitment to our wholesalers, consumers and the communities in which we operate
Given what InBev has done in Canada, I do not view the commitments made by InBev to be mere words. I have been extremely impressed with the way in which InBev has grown the Budweiser brand in Canada where it is now the number one selling beer.
While personally I am very focused on the Anheuser-Busch heritage and the Busch family legacy, I have also considered the shareholder value implications of the InBev offer as compared to the prospects for Anheuser-Busch as an independent company. When Anheuser-Busch became a public company, the Busch family and Anheuser-Busch management understood that future decisions had to be made in the best interests of all shareholders. Being a public company allowed Anheuser-Busch to grow and expand. Being a public company also meant that we had to be focused on the creation of shareholder value. Decisions could no longer be made simply because they benefited our family. InBev’s offer provides the opportunity for Anheuser-Busch brands to compete globally. I believe that as directors you have a fiduciary duty to commence negotiations with InBev in order to bring about this deal and allow the shareholders to receive the price proposed by InBev.
I am confident that you will do what is in the best interests of all the shareholders and that with the combination of InBev and Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser will once again be truly the “King of Beers.”
Very truly yours,
Adolphus A. Busch, IV