Synopses & Reviews
How the King of Beers collapsed without a fight and what it means for America's place in the post-Recession world
How did InBev, a Belgian company controlled by Brazilians, take over one of America's most beloved brands with scarcely a whimper of opposition? Chalk it up to perfect timing—and some unexpected help from powerful members of the Busch dynasty, the very family that had run the company for more than a century. In Dethroning the King, Julie MacIntosh, the award-winning financial journalist who led coverage of the takeover for the Financial Times, details how the drama that unfolded at Anheuser-Busch in 2008 went largely unreported as the world tumbled into a global economic crisis second only to the Great Depression. Today, as the dust settles, questions are being asked about how the "King of Beers" was so easily captured by a foreign corporation, and whether the company's fall mirrors America's dwindling financial and political dominance as a nation.
- Discusses how the takeover of Anheuser-Busch will be seen as a defining moment in U.S. business history
- Reveals the critical missteps taken by the Busch family and the Anheuser-Busch board
- Argues that Anheuser-Busch had a chance to save itself from InBev's clutches, but infighting and dysfunctionality behind the scenes forced it to capitulate
From America's heartland to the European continent to Brazil, Dethroning the King is the ultimate corporate caper and a fascinating case study that's both wide reaching and profound.
Praise for Dethroning The King
"Julie MacIntosh has given us not just an anatomy of a deal, but an anatomy of a company, a community, and a family. From cover to cover, it is a compelling story bound to be acclaimed as the business book of the year."
—Martin Lipton, Founding Partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
"This book is not just a terrific read about the decline of a storied American company. It is also an acute analysis that conveys important lessons about the ills of American business in general."
—Bruce Greenwald, Robert Heilbrunn Professor of Finance and Asset Management, Columbia Business School
"Dethroning the King is hard to put down—it's a must-read. Julie MacIntosh vividly captures the many twists and turns of this company's long history and the fascinating people who shaped its development."
—Nelson Peltz, CEO and Founding Partner, Trian Fund Management, LP
"In this powerful story, Julie MacIntosh does a great job of giving life to an epoch corporate event and the story of a legendary family. The parallels with today's ongoing corporate conflicts are many. The tale is fascinating and remains relevant."
—Robert F. Greenhill, Founder and Chairman, Greenhill & Co., Inc.
About the Author
Julie MacIntosh, an award-winning financial journalist, led the Financial Times's coverage of the takeover of Anheuser-Busch as its U.S. Mergers and Acquisitions Correspondent. She also covered the near-collapse of the global banking system while on the mergers beat and, before that, wrote for the newspaper's influential "Lex" column. Prior to joining the Financial Times, she spent six years as a reporter and correspondent for Reuters and, in 2003, was named one of NewsBios's "Top 30 Business Journalists Under 30." She regularly appears on CNBC and MSNBC.
Table of Contents
Cast of Characters xiii
Author's Note xvii
Chapter 1: The Game Is Afoot 5
Chapter 2: Crazy and Lazy at Loggerheads 23
Chapter 3: The Colossus 37
Chapter 4: Selling the American Dream 57
Chapter 5: The Fourth Abides 77
Chapter 6: The Hunter's Frozen Trigger Finger 111
Chapter 7: A Babe in the Woods 127
Chapter 8: The Old Gobi Desert Trick 143
Chapter 9: Mr. Brito Goes to Washington 161
Chapter 10: Angry Bedfellows 181
Chapter 11: The Board: August, August, and Augusta 203
Chapter 12: The Montagues and the Busches 241
Chapter 13: A Seller from "Hello" 257
Chapter 14: Put Up or Shut Up 275
Chapter 15: A Long Way from St. Louis 295
Chapter 16: A Toast on Both Sides 311
Chapter 17: Cash Out or Hunker Down 323
About the Author 371