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Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, an American Icon
     

Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, an American Icon

3.4 33
by Julie MacIntosh
 

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The takeover of one of the most well-known and beloved American brands, second only to Disney in popularity, by a Belgian company actually controlled by Brazilians is a fascinating drama that went largely unreported in 2008, coming as it did in the midst of a economic crisis of unimaginable proportions.  When the dust settles, there will be questions, if not

Overview

The takeover of one of the most well-known and beloved American brands, second only to Disney in popularity, by a Belgian company actually controlled by Brazilians is a fascinating drama that went largely unreported in 2008, coming as it did in the midst of a economic crisis of unimaginable proportions.  When the dust settles, there will be questions, if not curiosity in how it was pulled off and how Americans let one of their most treasured brands be captured by foreigners.  An American family dynasty will surely take the blame for their poor management, familial infighting, and just plain bizarre behavior.  Once lauded by the beer industry (from factory workers to distributors) and virtually the entire state of Missouri, the Busch family name is now mud, Augie III despised and Augie IV a laughingstock.  From the very local heart of the heartland to the European continent to Brazil, the story of the takeover of Anheuser-Busch by InBev, a Belgian company actually controlled by Brazilians, is fascinating, wide-reaching, and profound.  It presaged America’s dwindling political and financial dominance, coming just before the economic crisis of 2008 exploded, taking down great U.S. financial institutions and virtually the entire U.S. auto industry.  Few even noticed that Bud, the king of beers (and Rolling Rock and Michelob, and so on) had been captured in the midst of such carnage. Julie MacIntosh, the leading reporter worldwide covering the story, toiled away breaking news and breaking down sources.  Much of her reporting for the FT ended up being cut to give space to the economic crisis, at the time a far larger story.  Now that things are starting to return to normal, questions are being asked but the news cycle has moved on.  Now is the perfect time for a book that uncovers the story behind the takeover to show exactly how InBev pulled it off and the missteps the Busch family and AB board made.  Sure to be a great narrative of a classic dynasty taken down, this book will also become required reading in business courses worldwide.  As business has become all about brands, then getting the right brands is the new game of business.  Dethroning the King is a corporate caper and a classic case study in how to get the brand.

Editorial Reviews

The Wall Street Journal
”How the Busch clan lost control of an iconic American beer company. If ever an American company represented the land of milk and honey for corporate executives it was Anheuser-Busch . . . For decades a palace of well-paid vice presidents in cushy offices presided over the manufacture of Budweiser, America's beer, in that most American of cities, St. Louis. ‘Few companies on earth were more evocative of America, with all of its history and iconography, than Anheuser-Busch,’ writes veteran Financial Times journalist Julie MacIntosh in her strenuously reported book, "Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, an American Icon." As the title suggests, the reign of the King of Beers ended in the summer of 2008, when the company merged with the Brazil-based brewing giant InBev, an outfit about as culturally different from Anheuser-Busch as one could imagine. At $70 a share, or $52 billion, it was the largest all-cash acquisition in history and even more noteworthy because it occurred during the gathering storm of a global financial collapse. . . When growth-hungry InBev arrives on the scene, a company so lean and cost-conscious that they're called the Walmart of brewers, all hell breaks loose at the complacent Anheuser-Busch headquarters. The Brazilians make a pitch of $43 billion in what's known on Wall Street as a "bear hug"—an offer so generous that the recipient can't refuse. But A-B's board does refuse, triggering weeks of moves and counter-moves and endless end-gaming by the two companies. Ms. MacIntosh relates every gambit in crisp, scene-by-scene detail.

—The Wall Street Journal

The New York Times
“Ms. MacIntosh . . . earns extra credit for staying on the Anheuser-InBev case despite considerable macrocosmic distractions. . . The author’s persistence pays off in her account of the Busch family’s searing internecine strife. . . “Dethroning the King” makes for a fine yarn with a cautionary message about American business in the age of globalization. InBev began laying off workers less than a month after the deal formally closed, Ms. MacIntosh reports. Maybe the next time a foreign entity tries to acquire a major American family company, the public will take notice before it becomes a fait accompli.

— The New York Times

From the Publisher
"MacIntosh . . . earns extra credit for staying on the Anheuser-InBev case despite considerable macrocosmic distractions. . . . The author's persistence pays off in her account of the Busch family's searing internecine strife." ---The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470592700
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
10/26/2010
Pages:
408
Sales rank:
577,853
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"MacIntosh . . . earns extra credit for staying on the Anheuser-InBev case despite considerable macrocosmic distractions. . . . The author's persistence pays off in her account of the Busch family's searing internecine strife." —-The New York Times

Meet the Author

Julie MacIntosh is an award-winning financial journalist who earned degrees from Northwestern University and Columbia University and has worked as a correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters.

Joyce Bean is an accomplished audiobook narrator and director. In addition to being an AudioFile Earphones Award winner, she has been nominated multiple times for a prestigious Audie Award, including for Good-bye and Amen by Beth Gutcheon.

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Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, an American Icon 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Tomas_Sancio More than 1 year ago
Anheuser Busch's downfall is very well documented in this book. There are no clear villains and each person involved is shown in the most objective light possible. A read so compelling, one didn't want to Google the outcome before finishing the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A cautionary tale about how decades of iron-fisted, extremely insular leadership combined with the American financial crisis created a perfect storm resulting in the 2008 takeover of Anheuser-Busch (at $52 billion, the largest all cash takeover in corporate history). All the more interesting due to the involvement of major Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and knowing what still lay ahead as the financial crisis went global.
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