Sports fans and partygoers who enjoy Budweiser beer may not realize that their iconic King of Beers is no longer American. The story of how international firm InBev bought Anheuser-Busch is the subject of a new book.
Bottles of Budweiser and Stella Artois are seen at Dixie Liquors in Washington, D.C., in this file photo from July 14, 2008. That year, Brazilian-Belgian beverage giant — and Stella Artois maker — InBev took over Budweiser's American brewer Anheuser-Busch.
In Dethroning the King: The Hostile Takeover of Anheuser-Busch, An American Icon, author Julie MacIntosh details the 2008 takeover.
As she tells Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep, the Busch family, figureheads of the 150-year-old company, were unable to stop it from happening.
"The strange reality of it was that the family owned only about 4 percent of the stock," MacIntosh says.
"And a lot of the employees were shocked when InBev made its bid, that the Busches actually had no power whatsoever" to stop it, she says.
The purchase came at a time when America was suffering a financial meltdown — but before the credit markets dried up.
As a result, the Brazilian-Belgian InBev company faced little public or political resistance to its takeover. And at the time, money was still available to make deals.
"I have this very vivid image of them, just kind of barrel-rolling under the garage door just as it was slamming shut," MacIntosh says.