Now I know the economy’s in the shizzer. Anheuser Busch pulled the plug and accepted InBev’s $70 a share bid. They reasoned it was going to be too much work to fight their way out of the beer doldrums. Too bad. Anheuser Busch was a great corporate citizen in this country and will be missed – especially in St. Louis. I can’t wait until Busch Stadium is named after some bank.
Here’s what Anheuser Busch couldn’t do and what Anheuser Busch InBev must do to pay back the incredible debt it’s assuming: It must understand and serve the most profitable beer segments around the world. The first segment it needs to corner is the light beer segment in Spanish speaking countries. Cervecería India, owner of Medalla Light, is doing a great job with this segment marketing a low-cost 11 oz. beer that flows like water in Puerto Rico. A similar beer sold in the U.S. would take off and kick-start the new ABI portfolio giving other up-market segment portfolio managers time to figure out how to increase share of Bass, Stella and the poorly managed “king of beers.” Get to it. Peace!