While I risk being called a traitor as a St. Louisan defending a possible purchase of Anheuser-Busch by a non-American Company, as the wife of a Brazilian I must defend the fact that there are, indeed, ‘real businesses’ in Brazil.
This stems from a conversation I was having yesterday. I can’t remember the genesis of the conversation, but somehow it was appropriate to throw in that I heard a Brazilian company was looking to buy Anheuser-Busch. “It’s the same company that I think bought Stella-Artois,” I added.
“That’s a European company,” my friend countered.
“It’s in Belgium,” I said, “but the company in Brazil that makes Brahma and Antartica I think owns them now.”
“No, it’s a big company,” my friend said, making it clear that it was impossible that a Brazilian company could be involved in something of this size, or that a Brazilian company could be big.
Unfortunately, I had to let it go at the time, because I didn’t have my facts in front of me, but I do know that Brahma is the most popular beer in Brazil, and if my beer were the most popular beer in the fifth most populous country in the world, (over 188 million people by 2006 statistics), I’d be pretty happy!
I shared this with my husband, who was immediately clear on the insult, (the underlying assumption being that Brazil is a Third World Country) and sent me this link about the St. Louis bid. (InBev’s own story and very young CEO is also impressive to see).
My husband also noted that in taking over management of dozens of brands around the world, they maintain a 70% Brazilian Board, but have kept the European and Canadian brand identities. “I thought that some of us may have grown away from this absurd discrimination,” he said in reponse. “I am glad that we Brazilians realized that and we are feeding egos by saying that it is a European beer so that we can still make money.”
I believe that’s called laughing all the way to the bank!