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InBev reportedly mulling Anheuser takeover

May 24, 2008 at 6:39 PM

ST. LOUIS, May 24 (UPI) -- InBev, the Belgian maker of Beck's and Stella Artois, is considering a takeover bid for the U.S. company Anheuser-Busch.

A successful takeover would combine the second- and third-largest beer companies in the world, The Wall Street Journal reported. It would create a giant with more than 300 brands on every continent.

The Daily Telegraph, citing sources, said InBev planned to offer $65 per share and had secured financing from JP Morgan and Santander. Anheuser-Busch's stock price jumped 7.66 percent to $56.61 Friday.

InBev, despite its size, has only a tiny share of the U.S. market, the world's biggest. The two best-selling brands in the world are Anheuser's Bud Light and Budweiser.

Anheuser was founded 150 years ago by Adolphus Busch. His great-great-grandson, August Busch IV, reportedly has pledged the company would not be taken over while he is at the helm, the Journal said. His father has said the same thing.