But politicians and activists are already lining up against the deal, saying it could cost jobs in the United States and send ownership of an iconic American company overseas. With economic concerns at the front of voters' minds, the opposition could cause a headache for InBev.
Republican Gov. Matt Blunt said Wednesday he opposes the deal, and directed the Missouri Department of Economic Development to see if there was a way to stop it.
"I am strongly opposed to the sale of Anheuser-Busch, and today's offer to purchase the company is deeply troubling to me," Blunt said in a statement.
Web sites have sprung up opposing the deal on patriotic grounds, arguing that such an iconic U.S. firm shouldn't be handed over to foreign ownership. One of the sites, called SaveAB.com, was launched by Blunt's former chief of staff, Ed Martin.
"Shareholders should resist choosing dollars over American jobs," Martin said in a statement Wednesday night. "Selling out to the Belgians is not worth it - because this is about more than beer: it's about our jobs and our nation."
I'm not looking to do Budweiser any favors, BUT, Guvnah Blunt needn't have a say in who owns Budweiser. If InBev feels like they can make the company more profitable and increase Budweiser's presence around the world (shudder), no government agency should get to stand in their way. This patriotism crap that Ed Martin is spouting is equally dubious. Say it with me, geographical borders don't matter when it comes to ownership of assets. "Buy American" is a load of crap, buy the best product.
Just to peeve off everyone, I'll go one step further and offer a suggestion to InBev, lay off the Budweiser union workers and hire un-union with ownership (the Southwest model). This will increase profitability and increase flexibility in the labor market.
Update: Evan Newmark in the WSJ makes some of my points. No word on whether he was actually copying me, but I suspect he was.