Friday, June 13, 2008

Why McCain Has Beer On the Brain

Cindy McCain May Reap Benefits of Anheuser-Busch Bid (Update1)

By Jonathan D. Salant and Kristin Jensen

June 13 (Bloomberg) -- Cindy McCain, the millionaire wife of presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, may see her fortune increase with a proposed takeover of beermaker Anheuser- Busch Cos., financial disclosures show.

Cindy McCain, who has assets of at least $8.5 million, owned more than $1 million of Anheuser-Busch shares at the end of last year, according to a Senate disclosure form filed by her husband and released today. News of the $46.3 billion unsolicited bid from InBev NV has sent the company's shares soaring, up about 17 percent from Dec. 31.

The exact size of the potential windfall is unknown because the financial forms require lawmakers and their spouses to list only ranges for the values of their assets, and one option is to simply say ``over $1 million.'' Messages left with McCain's Senate office and campaign weren't returned.

InBev made the $65-per-share offer for the maker of Budweiser beer on June 11, and Anheuser-Busch said it would consider the bid. A transaction would unite Budweiser, the lager first brewed 132 years ago in St. Louis, with InBev's Stella Artois, Bass and more than 200 other brands.

Cindy McCain also owns a beer distributorship, Hensley & Co., worth more than $1 million. She reported liabilities of between $2.8 million and $5.5 million, owing money on King Aviation, the private jet company whose planes were used by her husband during the campaign, as well as construction, credit and promissory notes.

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