Marlboro Company Offloads $2.2 Billion Stake in Bud Light Parent Company


Marlboro Company Offloads $2.2 Billion Stake in Bud Light Parent Company

Altria Group, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, has announced it will sell over $2.2 billion worth of shares in AB InBev, the owner of popular beer brands Bud Light and Stella Artois. This decision will involve Altria selling 35 million AB InBev shares, reducing its current 10% ownership stake in the world’s largest brewer, which is worth around $12.7 billion. Altria’s CEO, Billy Gifford, described the sale as an opportunistic transaction that allows them to realize a portion of their long-term investment while still maintaining confidence in AB InBev’s strategies, brands, and management team.

Additionally, AB InBev has agreed to buy $200 million of its shares back from Altria. Despite a decline in annual revenues in the US, mainly driven by a drop in Bud Light volume, AB InBev saw a global revenue increase of 7.8% which resulted in profits exceeding $6.1 billion in 2023. The company faced criticism after a personalized can of Bud Light was sent to a woman following a social media post, leading to controversy and backlash from both sides of the political spectrum.

The term “woke” was used to describe the incident, with many criticizing the company’s response and subsequent actions. This back and forth caused AB InBev’s US-listed shares to fall nearly 4% in extended trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Despite the controversy surrounding the Bud Light incident, AB InBev remains a major player in the global beer market with a diverse portfolio of brands.

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