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

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9780470592700: Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, an American Icon

The amazing true story behind the siege of America's favorite beer company

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, the 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.

  • 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 capitulate

From 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.

Amazon.com Exclusive: Q & A with Author Julie MacIntosh

Author Julie MacIntosh

What was the most startling piece of information you came across during your interviews and research for Dethroning the King?
Two things shocked me, actually. I had heard about the rough relationship between August Busch III and his son, August Busch IV, but the rumors hadn’t prepared me for the reality of the situation on the ground in St. Louis. They had a huge blowup over whether to buy a top-of-the-line private jet not long after August IV became CEO, when they should have been figuring out how to save Budweiser. The company’s board of directors got stuck trying to mediate their arguments, and I doubt that had been in their job descriptions. I was also surprised at how close Anheuser-Busch came to merging with Modelo to try to save itself, and at how that all ultimately fell apart. I had covered this deal as a journalist and had known the whole time that the two companies were talking, but I hadn’t known they were just inches from the finish line.

Did you run into any hurdles as you worked to uncover everything that happened behind the scenes?
I wasn’t worried about getting access to key people on Wall Street who were involved in the takeover. I’d known many of them for years. But I was nervous about the reception I’d get from insiders at Anheuser-Busch. I figured the relationship between August III and August IV would be the toughest thing to explore because people had been so closed-mouthed about it in the past, but that was one of the angles my sources were the most eager to talk about. Those two guys are fascinating characters, and I think the people who had witnessed some of their more outrageous moments felt they deserved to be brought to light as part of the story. I got the sense, in general, that this book was a chance for catharsis for some people. The way it all went down is just too fascinating to sweep under the rug with the rest of the mess from the economic crash.

Is this the story of The Busch family dynasty imploding? If so, in what way?
It depends on how you look at it. Adolphus Busch might roll over in his grave if he knew Budweiser was being brewed by Brazilians. But the Busch family hadn’t actually controlled Anheuser-Busch for years – many people just thought they still did. Some family members made hundreds of millions of dollars on this deal. They’re so rich now that it’s almost incomprehensible. That’s not a bad consolation prize.

Was the takeover inevitable? And what are the implications now that such a beloved American icon is being run by a foreign company?
If Anheuser-Busch hadn’t arrogantly ignored what was going on in the rest of the world, it wouldn’t have been inevitable. But the company focused far too heavily on America, as if this is the only place where people drink beer. Now, thousands of workers have lost their jobs, beer prices are higher, and you have a bunch of Brazilians running around in Missouri. The company has even started charging for Clydesdale appearances. That Bud Light you drank last weekend was brewed by a Brazilian number-cruncher. The big question is whether that actually matters in a globalized world.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

From the Inside Flap:

Once upon a time, the "King of Beers" ruled the world—Budweiser controlled 52 percent of the U.S. beer market, and Anheuser-Busch was the world's top brewer. Then, economic hardship fell upon the land of milk and honey (and baseball, apple pie, and Chevrolet), and the King became a pawn that easily fell into the hands of foreign interests. Today, the Great American Lager is no more. Anheuser-Busch's fairy tale is over, and as Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, an American Icon details, the legendary company collapsed in spectacular fashion. How it all played out behind the scenes is the real story–and it's one people should get used to hearing as foreign companies set their sights on America's most popular brands, taking advantage of a weakened American economy and preying on American corporations that have for far too long viewed themselves as "too big to be taken over."

In the summer of 2008—investment bank Bear Stearns had already collapsed; lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were teetering on the verge of insolvency; financial services firm Lehman Brothers would soon declare the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history; and Anheuser-Busch had just received a takeover bid from foreign brewing giant InBev. As Dethroning the King describes, InBev's timing wasn't just lucky; it was perfect.

Anheuser-Busch, which had been ruled for decades by iron-fisted scion August A. Busch III, had just handed the reins to his son, August A. Busch IV—and young August's leadership was drawing lukewarm reviews from investors and even his own board of directors. Americans all across the country, meanwhile, were too distracted by their imploding personal finances to be concerned about Anheuser-Busch's fate. Many Americans had never even heard of global brewing behemoth InBev, and they didn't realize Budweiser had come under foreign attack until it was too late.

On November 18, 2008, the stock of Anheuser-Busch, known for its "BUD" ticker symbol, stopped trading, and one of America's oldest, most beloved brands lost its American-owned status. In Dethroning the King, Julie MacIntosh—the U.S. Mergers and Acquisitions Correspondent who led the Financial Times's coverage of the takeover of Anheuser-Busch—takes you behind the scenes to tell the inside story of the King of Beers' 150-year rise to power and its seven-week fall from grace.

From the Back Cover:

Praise for DETHRONING THE KING

"Julie MacIntosh has given us not just an anatomy of a deal, but an anatomy of a company, a community, and a family. From cover to cover, it is a compelling story bound to be acclaimed as the business book of the year."
MARTIN LIPTON, Founding Partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

"This book is not just a terrific read about the decline of a storied American company. It is also an acute analysis that conveys important lessons about the ills of American business in general."
BRUCE GREENWALD, Robert Heilbrunn Professor of Finance and Asset Management, Columbia Business School

"Dethroning the King is hard to put down—it's a must read. Julie MacIntosh vividly captures the many twists and turns of this company's long history and the fascinating people who shaped its development."
NELSON PELTZ, CEO and Founding Partner, Trian Fund Management, L.P.

"In this powerful story, Julie MacIntosh does a great job of giving life to an epoch corporate event and the story of a legendary family. The parallels with today's ongoing corporate conflicts are many. The tale is fascinating and remains relevant."
ROBERT F. GREENHILL, Founder and Chairman, Greenhill & Co., Inc.

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Descripción John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. 1. Auflage. Language: English . Brand New Book. How the King of Beers collapsed without a fight and what it means for America s place in the post-Recession world How did InBev, a Belgian company controlled by Brazilians, take over one of America s most beloved brands with scarcely a whimper of opposition? Chalk it up to perfect 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, the 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 as a nation. * 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 infighting and dysfunctionality behind the scenes forced it to capitulate From 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. Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780470592700

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Descripción John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. 1. Auflage. Language: English . Brand New Book. How the King of Beers collapsed without a fight and what it means for America s place in the post-Recession world How did InBev, a Belgian company controlled by Brazilians, take over one of America s most beloved brands with scarcely a whimper of opposition? Chalk it up to perfect 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, the 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 as a nation. * 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 infighting and dysfunctionality behind the scenes forced it to capitulate From 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. Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780470592700

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Descripción Wiley, 2010. Estado de conservación: New. 2010. 1st Edition. Hardcover. How did InBev, a Belgian company controlled by Brazilians, take over one of America's most beloved brands with scarcely a whimper of opposition? Chalk it up to perfect 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. Num Pages: 400 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: KJVB; KNDF. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 235 x 160 x 35. Weight in Grams: 628. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780470592700

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Descripción Wiley. Estado de conservación: New. 2010. 1st Edition. Hardcover. How did InBev, a Belgian company controlled by Brazilians, take over one of America's most beloved brands with scarcely a whimper of opposition? Chalk it up to perfect 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. Num Pages: 400 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: KJVB; KNDF. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 235 x 160 x 35. Weight in Grams: 628. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9780470592700

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Descripción John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. 1. Auflage. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. How the King of Beers collapsed without a fight and what it means for America s place in the post-Recession world How did InBev, a Belgian company controlled by Brazilians, take over one of America s most beloved brands with scarcely a whimper of opposition? Chalk it up to perfect 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, the 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 as a nation. * 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 infighting and dysfunctionality behind the scenes forced it to capitulate From 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. Nº de ref. de la librería BZV9780470592700

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