Usually actions from the Department of Justice do not crush companies, but today is no usual day for Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ). This stock has seen its share price tank on reports that the Department of Justice is filing suit to block the acquisition of the rest of Grupo Modelo in Mexico by Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A./N.V. (NYSE: BUD). Constellation’s website shows that the company is a leading beer importer and marketer in the United States through its Crown Imports joint venture with Mexico’s Grupo Modelo, and this puts a lot of revenue potentially at risk.
What is so interesting is that Constellation Brands’ stock was trading right under a year-high. That was then. Shares tanked and were halted by the so-called single-stock circuit breakers, which have been implemented by the New York Stock Exchange as a buffer against any future flash crash scenarios as we have seen in years past.
The drop is currently down 21% to about $31, against a 52-week trading range of $18.50 to $39.65. We previously had noted how Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A./N.V. (NYSE: BUD) was getting to finance this purchase for almost free due to the reception its bond offering had.
Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A./N.V. (NYSE: BUD) is down about 5% at $89.50 on the day, against a 52-week range of $62.59 to $94.49.
This means that the Corona beer business is at risk, and it is obvious that merger-arbitrage funds are getting crushed on this news. It turns out that there is once again no free lunch … nor any free beer.
Jon C. Ogg