Anheuser-Busch InBev, announced its plan to invest $2 billion into its operations in the Unites States. The world’s largest brewery, AB InBev is looking to tackle declining volumes and shrinking market share of its flagship product Budweiser.
The company recently purchased its closest competitor, SABMiller for almost $100 billion.
They said that the $2 billion initiative is one of the largest capital investment programs in the history of the US beer industry. They stated that they will be putting close to $500 million into the company this year, and the rest of the $2 billion by the year 2020.
Plans for the money include over $200 million on brewery and distribution projects in 2017, with $82 million to improve the national supply outlets and to build distribution warehouses in Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio.
In addition, they hope to expand production of aluminum bottles and begin to make a larger variety of beers through investment in its 21 US breweries. Adding non-alcoholic drinks are also on the to-do list, with products such as the ready-to-drink tea Teavana, which it is making together with Starbucks.
Avenue Capital Group was founded by Marc Lasry and his sister Sonia Gardner in 1995.
The investment firm is based in New York, but has offices throughout Europe and Asia, including in London, Luxemborg and Munich. It employs 215 people, and specializes in distressed investments. As of January 2013, Avenue Capital Group manages assets of around $12.2 billion.
According to their website, Avenue Capital Group’s core strategies involve distressed and undervalued debt, as well as equity opportunities in Asia, Europe and the United States. Avenue’s strategies also include real estate, securitized loan obligations and investments in other funds.
As January ended yesterday Wall Street celebrated what investors there are saying was their best month since October, 2011. The optimistic attitude was maintained despite the disappointing weaker-than-expected performance which was reported in Tuesday’s economic reports, which surprised investors after a receiving a series of positive data about the economy in recent months.
According to the most recent data available, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed the session at 12,633.89, down 19.83 points or 0.16 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was also down by 0.55 points, 0.04 percent to close at 1,312.46. The Nasdaq Composite Index finished up, however, by 1.46 points, or 0.05 percent, at 2,813.40.
The month of January ended up, with the Dow up by 3.4 percent, the S&P 500 up by 4.4 percent, and the Nasdaq finished in the black by a cool 8 percent.
The S&P downgraded the United States credit rating from AAA to AA+ on Friday with a warning of potential future downgrades. The downgrade was unprecedented but certainly necessary. America has over the years built up its 14 trillion dollar debt and cannot repay it. America has simply printed money in order to maintain its cash flow, without investing in new development.
The S&P credit rating is supposed to reflect America’s ability to pay its debts. China, Japan and other countries are heavily invested In America and suddenly the value of their investment has dropped. Why is this important to the American economy? Because the economy is based on borrowing money and other nations will stop lending because it is a poor credit risk. Indeed, US debtors are likely to call in their debts rather than to wait and watch the value of the American currency deflate and loose its value.
The economy is slowing down and entering a recession. The usual treatment for recession is government stimulus spending. However, government spending is not stimulating the economy. America’s unemployment rate is officially over 9 % and the GDP is under 2% and in reality is probably much worse than those figures. The government has provided no stimulus measures such as jobs programs or stimulus to business. All it has done is agreed to raise the debt ceiling and print more money. Currently, America pays $250 billion interest per year on its debt.
The weakening of America’s economy is something that people with financial and economic backgrounds could have seen coming if they were willing to face it. Now it is becoming clear to everyone that America will be forced to make difficult concessions to repay its debts and to repair its economy.