Takeover Rumors Swirl Around A-B (Again)


Brew Blog

Option prices jump.

Anheuser-Busch, once again, is at the center of takeover rumors.

From a Bloomberg report:

Speculation that Anheuser-Busch Cos. will be acquired sent options on the world’s second-largest brewer to the highest prices since January.

Implied volatility for the St. Louis-based company rose to 31.47, indicating traders anticipate bigger share-price swings. Call-option trading increased to 46,007 contracts, the most since June. The most-active options give the right to buy the stock for $55 by June 20. Anheuser-Busch has never closed above $55.

“It looks like a significant position being built in anticipation of a potential takeout,” said Henry Schwartz, president of Trade Alert LLC, a New York-based provider of options market analytics.

The Bloomberg story notes that A-B President and CEO August Busch IV last month told distributors the brewer wouldn’t be sold under his watch.

A-B chief financial officer W. Randolph Baker told Bloomberg in an e-mailed statement that the brewer doesn’t “confirm, deny or speculate on rumors.”

The Bloomberg report can be seen here.

Here’s Brew Blog’s coverage of remarks by August Busch IV to distributors.




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