Republican presidential candidate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, delivers remarks at the annual Christians United for Israel Summit (CUFI) at the Crystal Gateway Marriott on July 17, 2023 in Arlington, Virginia.
Kevin Worm | reuters
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has asked his government to investigate whether Bud Light’s parent company violated its duties to shareholders, as conservative backlash continues over the beer brand’s deal with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
DeSantis, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, directed Lamar Taylor, interim executive director of the State Board of Administration, to immediately begin a review “of how AB InBev’s conduct has affected and continues to affect the value of the SBA.” AB InBev Holdings.”
“It appears to me that AB InBev has breached the legal duty it owes to its shareholders, and shareholder action may be both appropriate and necessary,” DeSantis wrote in a letter tweeted on Friday.
“All options are on the table,” he said.
Shares of AB InBev are down about 2% this year, while the broader market is up. InBev did not immediately respond to a request for comment on DeSantis’ letter.
Bud Light sales have declined in the wake of the conservative uproar and boycott over the Mulvaney partnership. Last month, the beer lost its top spot in the US beer market Nakshatra BrandModelo Especial, which accounts for 8.7% of total beer sales, while Bud Light accounts for 7%, according to data shared by consulting firm Bump Williams.
The firm also found that Bud Light sales are down about 25% from last year. Amid the boycott, the company’s shares fell from $66 per share to $58. DeSantis said Florida owns $53 million of stock in AB InBev.
DeSantis suggested that the investigation could lead to a lawsuit on behalf of the shareholders of Florida’s pension fund. “Ultimately, when you put business aside to focus on your social agenda at the expense of hard-working people, there has to be a penalty,” he said in an interview with Fox News on Thursday night.
The governor accused the company of neglecting its stakeholders and pensioners by indulging in “radical social ideologies”.
DeSantis oversees the state board as a trustee along with the state’s Republican attorney general and chief financial officer.
The move against Bud Light is the latest example of DeSantis jumping into the controversy and exercising his political power over a serious social issue.
A bitter dispute is going on with the governor disney, one of its state’s top employers, more than a year after the company criticized Florida’s controversial bill limiting classroom discussion of gender identity. Disney filed a federal lawsuit accusing DeSantis and his allies of political vendetta arising from the confrontation over the class bill.
DeSantis, seen as the top Republican primary opponent of former President Donald Trump, has continued his attacks on the campaign trail against Disney and other entities he believes are “sweating” progressive political ideology.
He wrote in a letter to Taylor, “We must judiciously manage the funds of Florida’s hardworking law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters and first responders in a manner that focuses on increasing returns, not subsidizing an ideological agenda through evoking virtue signalling.”
DeSantis is trailing Trump by double digits in most national polls for the GOP primary race. Less than two months after entering the race, the governor’s campaign is planning to resume, nbc news Reported on Thursday.
Mulvaney has criticized Bud Light for not standing by him during the boycott. He said that he was harassed and intimidated when he became the face of the controversy.
Mulvaney said, “For months I’ve been afraid to leave my house, being publicly mocked, followed, and feeling lonely, which I don’t wish to be with anyone.” said last month,