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Anheuser-Busch

Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. () is the largest brewing company in the United States with a 48.8% share of beer sales by volume. It is the world's largest brewing company based on revenue, but third in brewing volume. The company operates 12 breweries in the United States and nearly 20 others in other countries.

A plan to merge with Belgian-Brazilian brewing giant InBev was announced on July 13, 2008, but has not yet been consummated.

Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. (ABC) is the holding company of Anheuser-Busch, Incorporated (ABI), a beer brewer. The Company is also the parent corporation to a number of subsidiaries that conduct various other business operations. ABC's operations comprise four segments: domestic beer, international beer, packaging, and entertainment, which contributed 75%, 7%, 10% and 8%, respectively, of the ABC's net sales, during the year ended December 31, 2007. Approximately 93% of the ABC's net sales are generated in the United States. Worldwide sales of the Company's beer brands aggregated in 2007, which comprises domestic and international volume. International volume represents Anheuser-Busch brands produced overseas by company-owned breweries, under license and contract brewing agreements, plus exports from the Company's United States breweries.

Anheuser-Busch's best known beers include brands such as Budweiser, Busch (originally known as Busch Bavarian Beer) and Michelob families, Bud Light, and Natural Light. The company also produces a number of smaller-volume and specialty beers, nonalcoholic brews, malt liquors (King Cobra and the Hurricane family), and flavored malt beverages (e.g. the Bacardi Silver family and Tequiza).

History

Anheuser-Busch began as a small brewery located in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1860, Eberhard Anheuser, a prosperous German-born soap manufacturer, became owner of the struggling brewery. Adolphus Busch, Anheuser’s son-in-law, became partner in 1869, and became president when Anheuser died in 1880.

Adolphus Busch was the first U.S. brewer to use pasteurization to keep beer fresh, the first to use artificial refrigeration and refrigerated railroad cars and the first to bottle beer extensively. In 1876, Busch introduced America’s first national beer brand: Budweiser. In 1877, Busch introduced the company's first cola: King Cola.

Anheuser-Busch became the largest brewer in the United States in 1957. It today produces about 11 billion bottles of beer a year.

Anheuser-Busch International, Inc. was established in 1981, and is responsible for the company's foreign beer operations and equity investments.

Today, Anheuser-Busch operates 12 breweries and several theme parks in the United States and has operations around the world.

Acquisition by InBev

Main article: Proposed merger of Anheuser-Busch and InBev.

On June 12, 2008, Belgian-Brazilian brewing company InBev announced that it had agreed to a US$46 billion offer for the company. If this had been successful, it would have joined two of the world's four largest brewing companies (based on revenue) and create a company that brews three of the top beers in the world, namely Bud Light, Budweiser, and Skol. InBev also stated that the merger would not result in any U.S. brewery closures and they would also attempt to keep on management and board members from both companies. On June 25, 2008, Anheuser-Busch officially announced that they would reject InBev's offer and provide a restructuring of company to maintain shareholders and United States World Headquarters in St. Louis. On July 1, 2008, InBev urged Anheuser-Busch shareholders to vote in favor of the buyout as InBev felt the offer of $65 per share should be considered a reasonable offer in view of the falling stock market. The company had previously filed suit in Delaware, after the rejection of their offer, to ensure that the stockholders could oust Anheuser-Busch's 13 board members. On July 7, 2008, Anheuser-Busch filed a lawsuit against InBev to stop them from soliciting support of shareholders, stating that the company's offer is an illegal scheme. InBev is also accused of concealing that they do business in Cuba, which might have created additional obstacles to their efforts to operate in the United States.

On July 13, 2008, Anheuser-Busch and InBev said they have agreed to a deal, pending shareholder and regulatory approval, for InBev to purchase the American icon at $70 per share, creating a new company to be named Anheuser-Busch InBev. Anheuser-Busch would get two seats on the combined board of directors. The all-cash agreement, almost $52 billion in total equity, would create the world’s largest brewer, uniting the maker of Budweiser and Michelob with the producer of Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Leffe and Beck's, Bass, Labatt and Brahma. The two companies would have yearly sales of more than $36.4 billion, surpassing the current No. 1 brewer, London-based SABMiller.

United States breweries and headquarters

In the United States, Anheuser-Busch operates 12 breweries:

St. Louis corporate world headquarters and brewery

Anheuser-Busch world headquarters is located in St. Louis, Missouri. The brewery there, the largest of the Anheuser-Busch breweries, was opened in 1852 and includes three buildings that are listed as National Historic Landmarks. At the headquarters, near downtown Saint Louis, free tours of the brewery are available to the public. The tour takes visitors through the complex, and those of the legal age can enjoy two free glasses of any Anheuser-Busch product in the Hospitality Room at the end of the tour. Tourists can see beer being made live in front of them in hot and steamy vats in a working part of the brewery (from behind plexiglas shields).

The company keeps a rotation of its famous Budweiser Clydesdales at its headquarters, and visitors to the brewery can observe the Clydesdales in their exercise field and see their places in the carriage house. The bulk of the herd is kept at the company farm in St. Louis County. The farm, known to many a St. Louisan as Grant's Farm (having been owned by former President Ulysses S. Grant at one time), is also home to a varied menagerie of animals. The current manager of the famous Clydesdales is Benjamin Underwood.

The brewery was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1966. The landmarked area includes 189 structures spread over , including many red brick Romanesque ones "with square crenelated towers and elaborate details." The Brew House, built in 1891-1892, is particularly notable for its "multi-storied hop chandelier, intricate iron-work, and utilization of natural light".

International breweries

Overseas, Anheuser-Busch operates 15 breweries - 14 in China and one in the United Kingdom; In China, A-B operates Budweiser Wuhan International Brewing Company, Ltd. and Harbin Brewery Group Ltd which A-B fully acquired in 2004. Chinese production of AB products in China started, in Wuhan, after their purchase of a local brewery in 1997. In the United Kingdom, the Budweiser Stag Brewing Company Ltd. produces and packages Budweiser.

Budweiser is also locally brewed in eight countries outside the United States. They are: Argentina, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Korea and Spain.

Anheuser-Busch strategic equity investments include:

Beverage products

Anheuser-Busch brews over 40 different beers and malt liquors, which have won 12 World Beer Cup awards.

In addition to brewing its own beer, Anheuser-Busch also is responsible for the importation and distribution of the following international beers in the U.S.:

Specialty beverage distribution deals

All of these brands can be verified by visiting Anheuser-Busch.com and clicking on the "beer brands" tab.

Advertising

The company is known in the United States for its huge advertising presence, including a sports marketing division which creates advertising material for the Super Bowl and many other sporting events. Famous Busch television campaigns have included:

  • Clydesdales, used both at liberty and being driven in harness, such as:
    • The Budweiser Clydesdales pulling traditional beer wagons
    • The traditional holiday spot featuring the Clydesdales pulling a sleigh through a snowy town, concluding with a closeup of a wreath on a door.
    • Clydesdales playing football (with a couple cowboys as the audience, and a zebra for a referee)
    • A donkey that thinks he's a horse and wants to be one of the Budweiser Clydesdales
    • A Clydesdale foal, who dreams of making the hitch, pretending to pull the beer wagon, which is secretly being pushed from behind by his Clydesdale parents.
  • Dalmatians, also associated with the traditional Budweiser Clydesdale iconography
  • The "Gimme a light" spots;
  • "You can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay" (as referenced in Being There and The Simpsons)
  • Frogs saying "Bud-weis-er." The ad campaign later spawned additional characters: Louie and Frankie the chameleons and an inept ferret hit man.
  • The annual Bud Bowl.
  • The "Waazzzup" series.
  • The "Real American Heroes/Real Men of Genius" series of humorous radio and television ads.
  • In the past they have marketed their beer through the name NASCAR Busch Series and on Dale Earnhardt Jr's #8 Chevy Monte Carlo. Currently they sponsor Kasey Kahne's #9 Dodge Charger as well as numerous campaigns in the NHRA such as The Big Bud Shootout at the US Nationals and major sponsorship with Kenny Bernstein Racing
  • Bud Man is an advertising character for Budweiser beer. He is a superhero and appears on many products aimed at coeds on University campuses. He also inspired Duffman, a character on The Simpsons.
  • In the UK when Budweiser became the sponsor of the Premiership football league, a humorous series of adverts showed involving the subsequent (fictional) 'Americanisation' of the game, including such ideas as giving the teams more exciting names (The Portsmouth Pirates) and the merging of longtime rival teams Manchester City and Manchester United into one Team Manchester, all with the tagline "you do the football, we'll do the beer". Ironically, A-B, based out of a city where soccer has always been popular, is sponsor of the St Louis (formerly Busch) Soccer Club and owns the Anheuser-Busch Center in suburban Fenton, whose main attraction is a 10,000-seat soccer park that hosts the Missouri state championships.
  • Current television commercials use the slogan "King of Beers."

Recently, Miller Brewing began a series of commercials which featured "referees" calling "penalties" on people for drinking Bud Light, and they would then take the Bud Light and replace it with Miller. Anheuser-Busch responded with their own "referees" commercials in which referees were taking people's Budweiser and keeping it for themselves.

The company has long been known for its jingles. A few of them are:

Environmental record

In 2002, Researchers at the University of Massachusetts have ranked Anheuser–Busch fortieth in the "Toxic 100," a list of U.S. corporations most responsible for air pollution. The study found that Anheuser–Busch released 1,002,786 kg (2,213,657 lbs) of toxic pollutants annually into the air.

Anheuser-Busch has received numerous awards for its efforts to reduce its impact on the environment. In 1995 Anheuser-Busch's Baldwinsville brewery won an award for pollution prevention from the New York Governor for its use of a "comprehensive, energy-producing pollution-prevention system - bioenergy recovery - to treat wastewater from the brewing process." The brewery also reduced solid waste by nearly 70 percent from 1990 to 1994. In addition, the Baldwinsville brewery found markets for previous "waste" materials used in the fermentation of Anheuser-Busch beers. The Anheuser-Busch Recycling Corp. recycled more than 27 billion cans in 2006, a number far greater than what was used in its own packaging. Similarly, Anheuser-Busch has set short-term goals to reduce energy consumption 5% and increasing use of renewable fuel from 8 to 15% by 2010. Along with these goals, Anheuser-Busch has succeeded in cutting down its water use by 3 % since 2002.Anheuser-Busch is investigating several other renewable energy possibilities such as biomass, wind, solar, and landfill gas as a fuel to reduce the company's environmental impact. The Corporation has also made commitments to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions "by 5 percent from its 2005 baseline by 2010 as part of its membership in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Leaders program."

The brewery also operates an environmental outreach program to encourage recycling, energy conservation, and habitat preservation, as well as to prevent littering and water pollution. For past 18 years Anheuser-Busch employees have participated in "Green Week", which focuses on environmental conservation education for employees and their families.

Additional subsidiaries

Anheuser-Busch subsidiaries include:

  • Busch Entertainment Corp. is one of the largest U.S. theme park operators, with ten parks throughout the country including several Busch Gardens and SeaWorld locations.
  • Anheuser-Busch Agricultural Operations Produces and enhances the incoming quality of raw materials for the company's beers.
  • St. Louis Refrigerated Car Co. Manages rail/truck transload operation and other properties in St. Louis. This subsidiary was established on February 3, 1878 as Anheuser-Busch's first subsidiary to facilitate large-scale distribution of the company's products via the U.S. rail network as part of A-B's decision to promote Budweiser as a nationwide beer brand.
  • Manufacturers Railway Co. Provides terminal rail-switching services to south St. Louis industries. Its two trucking subsidiaries provide delivery of cans, bottles and outbound beer for four Anheuser-Busch breweries.
  • Metal Container Corp. Produces cans and lids for the company's brewing operations as well as for U.S. soft-drink companies.
  • Anheuser-Busch Recycling Corp. One of the world's largest recyclers of used aluminum beverage containers.
  • Precision Printing and Packaging, Inc. Produces labels for the company's beer packaging operations as well as for other customers.
  • Eagle Packaging, Inc. Supplies 100 percent of Anheuser-Busch requirements for liner material for both the crowns and closures used in beer packaging.
  • Owens-Illinois Not a subsidiary, it supplies glass bottles to many of the Anheuser-Busch breweries around the world including a brand new plant in Windsor, Colorado. Anheuser-Busch bought Longhorn Glass, a former Anchor Hocking Glass plant providing glass for the Houston Brewery, and has partnered with O-I to make glass bottles for A-B in several other cases.
  • Busch Properties, Inc. Operates resort, residential and commercial properties.

Anheuser-Busch and the St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals baseball club were owned by Anheuser-Busch from February 20, 1953 until the club was sold to a group of private investors on March 21, 1996. Busch Memorial Stadium, paid for and built by the brewery in the mid-1960s, was recently demolished and replaced by a new ballpark. Anheuser-Busch signed an agreement for the new ballpark to retain the "Busch Stadium" name on the new building through 2025.

Wholesalers and distributors

Anheuser-Busch delivers its products to retailers through a large network of wholesalers and distributors. In the United States, there are about 800 of these; One of the largest is Hensley & Co. in Phoenix, Arizona, with yearly sales of over 20 million cases of Anheuser-Busch beers., and whose chair is Cindy Hensley McCain, the wife of the Republican Presidential nominee for 2008, Senator John McCain of Arizona.

Corporate leadership

Patrick Stokes is the current Chairman. August Busch IV is the President and CEO. Both men assumed their titles on December 1, 2006.

A chronology of past corporate leaders (President and CEO) is as follows:

References

External links

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