Anheuser-Busch Cos. rejected an unsolicited $46 billion purchase offer from InBev Thursday, just hours after the Belgian brewer appeared to set the stage for a hostile takeover bid.


Anheuser-Busch Cos. rejected an unsolicited $46 billion purchase offer from InBev Thursday, just hours after the Belgian brewer appeared to set the stage for a hostile takeover bid.

Anheuser-Busch Chief Executive August Busch IV sent a letter to InBev Chief Executive Carlos Brito saying the offer greatly undervalued the largest U.S. brewer, calling the $65-a-share price “financially inadequate” and not in the best interests of its shareholders.

Earlier in the day, InBev filed a suit in Delaware court, where Anheuser-Busch is incorporated, seeking to officially declare shareholders can remove all 13 members of Anheuser-Busch’s board. Such a declaration could be the first step to rally Anheuser-Busch shareholders to accept InBev’s offer, even if management is opposed to it.

In most acquisitions, a rejection from the target company’s board of directors might draw out a sweeter offer. InBev’s move suggests it’s not interested in a lot of bartering, said Douglas Cogen, a mergers and acquisitions attorney with the Fenwick and West law firm in San Francisco.