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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Warns Anheuser-Busch Over Bud Light Ad Featuring Dylan Mulvaney

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expressing his concerns and hinting at possible legal action against Anheuser-Busch InBev, the parent company of Bud Light, over a controversial promotion featuring TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney. The beer brand’s collaboration with Mulvaney, who is a transgender actress and activist, caused backlash among conservatives, leading to calls for a boycott of Bud Light. This backlash has been attributed to a decline in sales for Bud Light.

During an interview with Fox News, DeSantis revealed that Florida’s pension fund holds over $50 million worth of shares in Anheuser-Busch. He stated that Bud Light’s decision to work with Mulvaney has negatively impacted the brand’s sales, resulting in collateral damage to the state’s pension fund. DeSantis warned that pursuing a political agenda at the expense of shareholders could lead to a derivative lawsuit filed on behalf of the pension fund’s shareholders.

DeSantis did not disclose the exact amount lost by the pension fund due to its investments in Anheuser-Busch. However, he sent a letter to Florida’s State Board of Administration (SBA) requesting a review of how AB InBev’s conduct has affected the value of the pension fund’s holdings. DeSantis suggested that AB InBev may have breached its legal duties to shareholders, potentially warranting a shareholder action.

Anheuser-Busch responded to the allegations by emphasizing its commitment to shareholders, employees, distributors, and customers. The company stated that it is focused on driving long-term, sustainable growth and providing consumers with enjoyable products.

Bud Light’s sales suffered, dropping by 28% compared to the same period last year, following Mulvaney’s social media video. This decline in revenue amounts to approximately $26 million for Anheuser-Busch. The company’s stock price has also fallen by 14% since the promotion, resulting in a $16 billion decrease in market value.

In addition to this controversy, Governor DeSantis is involved in an ongoing dispute with the Walt Disney Co. regarding the company’s authority over land near its theme parks in Orlando, Florida.

DeSantis, a potential candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has been actively campaigning in recent weeks. He hopes to regain momentum for his campaign and position himself as the front runner.

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