According to De Standaard, a Belgian newspaper, Warren Buffett stands behind InBev's hostile takeover bid for American brewer Anheuser-Busch,citing sources close to the situation. If true, this could prove a decisive endorsement in pushing the two companies closer to a deal.
As we at Buffetwatch noted yesterday, this comes amidst reports that August Busch IV, Anheuser's CEO, had tapped Warren Buffett for guidance on the company's strategic options, in the wake of InBev's $65-a-share all-cash offer.
Why Buffett? Well, beyond his obvious clout, Berkshire Hathaway is the second largest shareholder in BUD, holding a massive stake in the brewer since 2005.
"Mr. Buffett, who holds a 5% stake in Anheuser-Busch has a notable reputation for assisting in matters where family ownership is at stake," Adolphus Busch IV, August Busch IV's uncle, said in a statement. "His participation in the recent merger of Wrigley and Mars Inc. is evidence of his integrity. Should Mr. Buffett see this merger as a positive action for all shareholders involved, the likelihood of a deal will increase enormously."
CNBC has learned that Mr. Buffett has no plans to travel to St Louis regarding this matter. While Mr. Buffett has yet to publicly comment, rumors had been swirling that the Oracle of Omaha would trek to BUD HQ for an in-person meeting w/ August Busch and Anheuser management.
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