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Anheuser-Busch: InBev’s offer may be hard to refuse; Insurance: AIG ousts CEO; Investment banking: Lehman’s highflier tumbles; Radio: Sirius-XM merger gains key backing; Correction

Anheuser-Busch: InBev’s offer may be hard to refuse“It’s official,” said Jeremiah McWilliams in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Anheuser-Busch Cos. is the target of the biggest takeover bid in the global beer industry’s history.” Belgium’s InBev, brewer of Stella Artois and Beck’s, last week bid $65 a share, or $46 billion, for the U.S. brewing giant. That’s 24 percent higher than the price at which Anheuser-Busch’s stock was trading in late May, just before rumors of an impending bid from InBev started circulating. The combined company would have $36.4 billion in revenue and $10.7 billion in earnings.

CEO August Busch IV quickly rebuffed the offer and opened negotiations with Mexican brewer Modelo, said David Kesmodel in The Wall Street Journal. Busch is apparently seeking a tie-up that would keep Anheuser-Busch out of InBev’s clutches. Anheuser-Busch already owns 50 percent of Modelo, whose best-known U.S. brand is Corona. “Acquiring the rest of the Mexican brewer could make the combined company too expensive for InBev.” InBev warned investors that its premium-priced offer would be void if Anheuser-Busch did a defensive transaction with Modelo or another brewer.

Insurance: AIG ousts CEOInsurance giant AIG this week dismissed CEO Martin Sullivan, said Jonathan D. Glater in The New York Times. “The change at the top comes as pressure has mounted on the company to respond to a steady stream of bad news, including record losses.” Sullivan, who became CEO in 2005 after Maurice “Hank” Greenberg was pushed out in an accounting scandal, was expected to end a period of turmoil at the company. But AIG faces a new federal investigation over its accounting, and several powerful institutional investors demanded Sullivan’s removal.

Investment banking: Lehman’s highflier tumblesJust days after Lehman Brothers warned investors that it would suffer its first loss since going public in 1994, the investment bank removed its chief financial officer, said Susanne Craig in The Wall Street Journal. The announcement “marks a dramatic fall” for investment banker–turned–CFO Erin Callan, who will be replaced by Ian Lowitt, 44. Callan, 42, had earlier won wide praise for her high-profile role in explaining Lehman’s finances to skeptical analysts. But inconsistencies in several recent public statements have damaged her credibility. Callan will return to Lehman’s investment-banking unit. The executive shuffle also claimed Lehman President Joseph Gregory, a longtime associate of CEO Richard Fuld. Gregory resigned, reportdly telling Fuld that “we have lost credibility, and Wall Street wants a head.”

Radio: Sirius-XM merger gains key backingFederal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin said this week he supports the merger between satellite-radio rivals XM and Sirius Satellite Radio, said Cecilia Kang in The Washington Post. Martin’s backing “could remove the last regulatory hurdle in the lengthy and heavily criticized move to make the companies one.” Martin’s support comes with conditions, though. Among other things, he wants the companies to offer “à la carte” programming so that listeners aren’t forced to subscribe to more programs than they want.  

CorrectionA June 20 article about former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina gave an incorrect reason for her firing from that job. She was forced out after clashing with the H-P board over strategy and disappointing financial results.

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