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Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of…

Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, an American… (edition 2011)

by Julie MacIntosh

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Title:Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, an American Icon
Authors:Julie MacIntosh
Info:Wiley (2011), Edition: 1, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

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

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Interesting story about the Anheuser-Busch hostile takeover by InBev. I enjoyed reading about the rise and the personalities of those that built the empire. The book got pretty deep into discussing mergers and acquisitions, which is not my first choice in reading material, but the characters kept it moving along. This book did really show how inertia and arrogance can harm a company. The actions of August III were amazing and how he sold out his own son and father. ( )
  dgmlrhodes | Aug 13, 2011 |
MacIntosh's deeply reported book provides inside access into how family bickering helped undermine the independence of Anheuser-Busch and led to Belgian brewer In-Bev's 2008 takeover.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0470592702, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:15 -0400)

"The takeover of one of the most well-known and beloved American brands, second only to Disney in popularity, by a Belgian company actually controlled by Brazilians is a fascinating drama that went largely unreported in 2008, coming as it did in the midst of a economic crisis of unimaginable proportions. When the dust settles, there will be questions, if not curiosity in how it was pulled off and how Americans let one of their most treasured brands be captured by foreigners. An American family dynasty will surely take the blame for their poor management, familial infighting, and just plain bizarre behavior. Once lauded by the beer industry (from factory workers to distributors) and virtually the entire state of Missouri, the Busch family name is now mud, Augie III despised and Augie IV a laughingstock. From the very local heart of the heartland to the European continent to Brazil, the story of the takeover of Anheuser-Busch by InBev, a Belgian company actually controlled by Brazilians, is fascinating, wide-reaching, and profound. It presaged America's dwindling political and financial dominance, coming just before the economic crisis of 2008 exploded, taking down great U.S. financial institutions and virtually the entire U.S. auto industry. Few even noticed that Bud, the king of beers (and Rolling Rock and Michelob, and so on) had been captured in the midst of such carnage. Julie MacIntosh, the leading reporter worldwide covering the story, toiled away breaking news and breaking down sources. Much of her reporting for the FT ended up being cut to give space to the economic crisis, at the time a far larger story. Now that things are starting to return to normal, questions are being asked but the news cycle has moved on. Now is the perfect time for a book that uncovers the story behind the takeover to show exactly how InBev pulled it off and the missteps the Busch family and AB board made. Sure to be a great narrative of a classic dynasty taken down, this book will also become required reading in business courses worldwide. As business has become all about brands, then getting the right brands is the new game of business. Dethroning the King is a corporate caper and a classic case study in how to get the brand."--… (more)

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