On Friday Anheuser-Busch saw one of its key players step down, but all is not as it appears. Rather than signal weakness this departure shows that Bud is ready to make a play for Grupo Modelo in order to keep itself from getting taken over by Belgian brewer InBev.
A Grupo Modelo spokesperson said Carlos Fernandez resigned from the board to avoid the appearance of any conflicts. Ann Gilpin, an analyst with Morningstar in Chicago, called the resignation confusing since she believes Fernandez is in favor of InBev acquiring A-B because he does not want to see Anheuser-Busch buy out the rest of Grupo Modelo.
Some sources took Mr Fernandez's departure to mean that Anheuser has lost a key ally in any defence against InBev.
Separately, Anheuser-Busch announced today that it would buy the remaining 50.0% of Crown Beers India Ltd., its India-based joint venture, that it doesn't already own. Earlier this week, InBev told the U.S. beermaker in a letter not to pursue other transactions as it considered InBev's offer.