Takeover Could Leave Anheuser A Bit Skunked

Bottom-line culture of Brazil's InBev not always a smooth pour
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2008 4:10 PM CDT
Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (R) and Inbev CEO Carlos Brito (L) at the Inbev Brewery on November 30, 2006 in Leuven, Belgium.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Anheuser-Busch executives are surely examining the fate of Interbrew, the Belgian company swallowed in 2004 by InBev, the Brazilian juggernaut reportedly preparing to grab the iconic US brewer, the Wall Street Journal reports. InBev's locker-room, bottom-line-oriented corporate culture has quickly replaced beer-loving Belgians with Brazilian execs, a situation that would seem certain to fly in the face of A-B's tradition.

InBev faces several moral-harassment suits at home in Brazil, and a labor dispute at a plant in Canada (where InBev now brews iconic Labatt) had a union spokesman complaining of "a bunch of Brazilian bullies who think they can teach our workers a lesson." InBev, meanwhile, says Interbrew was primed for change, and that other hiccups were "isolated incidents." (Read more corporate culture stories.)