Some A-B Shareholders Open to Sale

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Brew Blog

“I don’t think $65 is a bad price,” says one investor.

Some institutional shareholders with large stakes in Anheuser-Busch are open to a sale of the company, according to a Reuters story.

The story included quotes by a variety of shareholders who say InBev’s rumored $65 per share offer price for A-B is fair. (InBev and A-B have not commented on rumors about InBev’s putative interest.)

Here’s one quote:

“I don’t think $65 is a bad price because if the company stayed the way it is now, it certainly would be, on average, two years before the stock reaches that level on a sustained basis,” said Stephen Jarislowsky, chairman and CEO of Canada’s Jarislowsky, Fraser Ltd, which owned 1.7 million Anheuser shares as of March 31

.

An unidentified portfolio manager seconded that opinion;

“Part of the reason we own the stock is the belief that the company could be run a lot better than it has been,” said the manager, who did not wish to be identified. “On the price, it really does depend on the synergies and opportunities seen. But $65, given the information that we have, does not seem to be an unreasonable price.”

The top investment officer of Eaton Vance, which is A-B’s 10th biggest shareholder, says it would be open to a sale. From the story:

“A takeover would expand the globalization of their franchise, and we like that,” said Duncan Richardson, chief equity investment officer at Eaton Vance, the 10th biggest Anheuser shareholder with 5.5 million shares as of March 31.

Richardson declined to comment on the price of a potential offer but said Eaton Vance was open to a bid for Anheuser. “Part of the investment case was that there could be a takeover,” he said.

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