Following the backlash Anheuser-Busch InBev has experienced after one of its top brands, Bud Light, engaged in paid marketing engagement with a contentious transgender influencer, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reportedly directed the State Board of Administration (SBA) to launch an inquiry into the global equity assets that it holds with the company.
DeSantis wrote to Lamar Taylor, the interim executive director of the SBA, outlining the company’s roughly 30% decline in revenue for the month of June. Florida’s state and municipal governments’ assets are invested by the SBA, a company that manages assets.
“As sales of AB InBev products within the U.S. continue to precipitously decline, reports are now emerging that large American mainstays like Costco will be pulling Bud Light from the shelves. Clearly, the Board’s mismanagement — as well as its failure to remediate the problem and repair its relationship with millions of disaffected American consumers — has led to this impasse and will continue to financially harm the SBA and other shareholders.” DeSantis wrote.
“I therefore request that you immediately initiate a review to examine how AB InBev’s conduct has impacted and continues to impact the value of SBA’s AB InBev holdings. It appears to me that AB InBev may have breached legal duties owed to its shareholders, and that a shareholder action may be both appropriate and necessary. To protect SBA and the retirees of Florida from losses attributable to AB InBev’s disregard of those duties, all options are on the table.” he continued.
DeSantis announced the news with Fox News anchor Jesse Watters on Thursday night.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 21, 2023
The governor said that the pension had $50 million invested in InBev stock and that Florida’s teachers and other pensioners had suffered as a result of the company’s value decrease.
“So we’re going to be launching an inquiry about Bud Light and InBev. And it could be something that leads to a derivative lawsuit filed on behalf of the shareholders of the Florida pension fund. Because at the end of the day, there’s gotta be penalties for when you put business aside to focus on your social agenda at the expense of hard working people.” DeSantis told Watters.
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