Anheuser-Busch files lawsuit to hit back at suitor InBev

The American brewer Anheuser-Busch came out fighting yesterday in response to InBev's hostile move to oust the group's entire board.

Anheuser, which makes Budweiser, is trying to derail the $46bn (£23bn) takeover approach from the European brewer InBev by filing a lawsuit preventing it from calling on shareholders to sack the board. It also called the Belgian group's plans "illegal" and accused it of using "deceptive conduct" to buy Anheuser at a bargain price.

The US group filed the 21-page document on Tuesday in the Eastern District Court of Missouri – rather than the more traditional jurisdiction of Delaware for company lawsuits – the court that covers St Louis, its headquarters. The suit said: "To redress harm to Anheuser-Busch and its shareholders, Anheuser-Busch requests that this Court issue an injunction prohibiting InBev from taking any steps in furtherance of its consent solicitation until such time as it has cured each and all of its false and misleading statements."

InBev declined to comment but a source close to the group said: "This move was expected – Anheuser is just using delaying tactics. InBev remains confident."

Anheuser, whose website reads "Making friends is our business", raised a series of questions relating to InBev's proposals in the suit and accused it of leaking the $65-a-share merger to investors and the financial press in May.

The group said InBev had also misled shareholders about the strength of the financing in place to secure the deal. "Given the current state of the credit markets, no group of lenders would unconditionally agree to loan InBev the $40bn it will need." InBev has said it paid the eight banks providing debt, including JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank, $50m to secure their commitment.

Anheuser lists other "misleading statements" over its plans should InBev secure a deal. It cast doubt that the merged company's North American headquarters would be based in St Louis, because of the Belgian group's operations in Cuba.

The suit said that under laws including the Trading with the Enemy Act, its Cuban business would prevent the North American operations from being managed in the US. InBev has said its activities in Cuba comply with all international laws, and it makes up 0.0035 per cent of its global beer operations.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn