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

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

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by Julie MacIntosh, Joyce Bean
     
 

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How did InBev, a Belgian company controlled by Brazilians, take over one of America's most beloved brands after barely a whimper of a fight? Timing, and some unexpected help from powerful members of the Busch dynasty, the very family that had run the company for more than a century.In Dethroning the King, Julie MacIntosh, an award-winning financial journalist who

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Overview

How did InBev, a Belgian company controlled by Brazilians, take over one of America's most beloved brands after barely a whimper of a fight? Timing, and some unexpected help from powerful members of the Busch dynasty, the very family that had run the company for more than a century.In Dethroning the King, Julie MacIntosh, an award-winning financial journalist who led coverage of the takeover for the Financial Times, details how the drama that unfolded at Anheuser-Busch in 2008 went largely unreported as the world tumbled into a global economic crisis second only to the Great Depression. Today, as the dust settles, questions are being asked about how the "King of Beers" was so easily captured by a foreign corporation, and whether the company's fall mirrors America's dwindling financial and political dominance. In Dethroning the King, MacIntosh:-Discusses how the takeover of Anheuser-Busch will be seen as a defining moment in U.S. business history-Reveals the critical missteps taken by the Busch family and the Anheuser-Busch board-Argues that Anheuser-Busch had a chance to save itself from InBev's clutches, but strong forces behind the scenes forced it to capitulateFrom the very heart of America's heartland to the European continent to Brazil, Dethroning the King is the ultimate corporate caper and a fascinating case study that's both wide-reaching and profound.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A Foolish Book Recommendation for July." (The Motley Fool)

"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)

"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)

“There’s a lesson for all in book on brewing. . . a great read.” (Morning Advertiser)

Dethroning the King, . . . is the compelling play-by-play of InBev's takeover of Anheuser-Busch. Give MacIntosh a Stella Artois for her excellent reporting.” (Stltoday.com)

"Dethroning the King is a brutally detailed look at the hostile takeover of Anheuser-Busch, the legendary icon that at one time was the epitome of American business success. It is a story that may well go down in American business history as one of the defining moments of this era. [An] insightful and brilliantly written work. As American business continues to dramatically change, this compelling book should be on every businessperson's reading list." (Business Lexington)

A Library Journal Best Business Book 2010

“In a narrative that reads as fast as any fiction thriller, Financial Times journalist MacIntosh details the 2008 takeover of the iconic Anheuser-Busch brewing company by Belgian corporation InBev, focusing particularly on the company's importance to the St. Louis region; its management, or lack thereof, by the Busch family (particularly the August Busches III and IV); and the broader unsettled economic climate of 2008.”

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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452633541
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
08/30/2011
Edition description:
Library - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.00(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

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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