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InBev Raises Anheuser-Busch Bid: WSJ

Belgian beer maker InBev raised its bid for Anheuser-Busch by $5 a share to $70 in an attempt to secure a friendly deal with the maker of Bud, the Wall Street Journal reported on its web site citing a person familiar with the matter.

Earlier in the day, the New York Times reported the two were engaged in friendly talks after Anheuser previously rejected InBev's $65 a share offer saying it undervalues the company.

News of the improved bid comes just days after InBev advanced a proposal to replace Anheuser's board, saying the company had been "unwilling to engage with in a dialogue."

Anheuser's board is likely to accept the offer this weekend, the Wall Street Journal said, adding that there are still so-called social issues to be decided, including the name of the merged company.

The iconic U.S. company sued the Belgian brewer earlier this week, accusing it of what it said was "an illegal plan and scheme by InBev, through a course of deceptive conduct, to acquire control of Anheuser-Busch at a bargain price."

The suit also accused InBev of making numerous "false and misleading statements" regarding the financing of its $65-per-share offer and its plans for the combined company.

Some of Anheuser's largest shareholders, including billionaire Warren Buffett, were backing the deal, media reports said.

A friendly merger would help InBev keep key Anheuser management in place and avoid alienating the U.S. company's distributors, a person close to the deal told the Wall Street Journal.

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