We’re fascinated by the news that Anheuser-Busch, the pride of St. Louis, is getting gobbled up by Belgium-based InBev. It’s a monster deal, valued at $52 billion and considered the largest-ever cash transaction. The combined company will brew about a quarter of the world’s beer, including A-B staples Bud and Michelob as well as InBev’s Stella Artois, Bass and others.
The prickly part is that good old Budweiser will no longer be red, white and blue. Bud’s new hometown is Leuven, Belgium. And another thing: Being in Orlando, we wonder what’s in store for SeaWorld and A-B’s other theme parks, potentially among the “non-core assets” that InBev wants to unload to help fund the acquisition.
Most important of all, what’s the fate of the free beer at SeaWorld’s Anheuser-Busch Hospitality Center? Either the parks get sold and the free beer disappears, or InBev keeps the entertainment division and we get to enjoy complimentary Stella and Bass on our frequent excursions to see Shamu. I’m kind of liking the latter concept. It’s all about the beer, my friends.