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A-B stockholder seeks outsider chairman.

Anheuser-Busch stockholders will vote on a proposal that would require the ouster of August Busch III as chairman, to allow an independent director be chairman.

The proposal was submitted by the National Automatic Sprinkler Industry Pension Plan of Landover, MD., which holds 95,871 shares of Anheuser-Busch. The proposal asks the board to amend the company bylaws to require that a director who hasn't served as an officer of Anheuser-Busch be its chairman.

The proposal was included in Anheuser-Busch's proxy statement, which was filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The outcome of the proposal vote will be announced at the brewer's annual meeting in Orlando, FL, on April 23.

The pension plan cited scandals at Enron, WorldCom and Tyco as evidence of the need for an independent board of directors. The pension plan said that those companies all had chairmen who were insiders.

Anheuser-Busch has recommended that investors vote against the proposal, saying the company's bylaws give "appropriate" flexibility in selecting a chairman. August A. Busch III, former A-B CEO, is chairman of A-B.

Anheuser said that the board qualifies as independent as defined by the New York Stock Exchange, since only three of the brewer's current 15 directors are present or former employees.
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Title Annotation:Anheuser-Busch stockholder, National Automatic Sprinkler Industry Pension Plan
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 17, 2003
Words:207
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