News: InBev shareholders to vote on Anheuser-Busch bid

Shareholders of brewer InBev SA will vote Sept. 29 on the company’s $52 billion bid for U.S. rival Anheuser-Busch Cos., InBev said Thursday.

The company said it also would ask shareholders to back a capital increase and the issuing of new shares that would raise up to $10 billion to pay for part of the deal.

That would cover the existing equity bridge financing of $9.8 billion in place since the deal was announced in July, it said.

InBev said it did not plan to increase capital by more than $9.8 billion but was adding an extra margin to cover any significant currency fluctuations until the company’s board decides how many new shares to issue and at what price.

Three-quarters of InBev’s shareholders must approve the Anheuser-Busch acquisition, the capital increase and changing the name of the company to Anheuser-Busch InBev.

InBev has tried to soothe American fears of job losses by promising to keep open all 12 North American breweries. Anheuser-Busch already plans to shed 1,185 positions – mostly by offering early retirement and not filling existing vacancies.

InBev still has another few stumbling blocks before it can raise a glass. Mexico’s Grupo Modelo – 50 percent owned by Anheuser-Busch – claims that it has consent rights over the deal and is in talks with InBev.

InBev also is planning to raise more money to cover the deal by selling off noncore assets. Analysts have pointed to Anheuser-Busch’s theme parks, but InBev says it would also consider selling some of its own businesses.

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