Obama, speaking at a news conference in the city where Anheuser-Busch is headquartered, said no U.S. law could prevent shareholders from agreeing to sell the company to InBev. The American brewer is known for its Budweiser brand.
"I do think it would be a shame if Bud is foreign-owned," Obama said. "I think we should be able to find an American company that is interested in purchasing Anheuser Busch if in fact Anheuser Busch feels that it's necessary to sell."
A shame? Emotionally yes as Bud is an true American icon. Such words probably do appeal voters, so they might fit Obama's electoral strategy. But economically they don't make sense. Hey, this is the free market operating. The market will decide whether INBEV's bid with a 30% premium is sufficient or not. I thought the USA was pro free market and opposed to protectionism, mr Obama? Pushing American firms to buy Anhauser-Bush purely to keep it American is not a cost-effective strategy that will proof the most jobs/R&D/innovation/profits in the long run.
It made me think of the words of my former Scottisch director when a Heineken & Carlsberg consortium bought Scottisch & Newcastle. This take-over marked the disappearence of the last UK owned brewer. Scottisch press wondered whether their government could prevent this take-over to happen. This director said " this is the difference between the Irish economy and the French economy: the French is much more protectionistic and has more direct government involvement than the Irish. Although tough at first, the Irish economy has chosen the best strategy in the long run and its economy now outperforms the other European economies. Governments should not prevent the free market in such (take-over) matters".
I agree. Even though no country likes to see its "icons" fall in foreign hands.