Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Launches Investigation and Threatens Lawsuit Against AB InBev for Prioritizing Social Activism Over Shareholders’ Interests

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called for an investigation into AB InBev, the makers of Bud Light, and has threatened a possible lawsuit.[0] DeSantis alleges that the company put social activism ahead of shareholders’ interests during its partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer. The governor’s actions come after a conservative boycott caused a significant decline in Bud Light sales, which in turn affected the state’s pension fund. DeSantis aims to hold AB InBev accountable for prioritizing a social agenda over the well-being of retired public officials.[0]

The decline in Bud Light sales has raised concerns about the negative impact on Florida’s pension fund, potentially affecting retired public officials.[0] DeSantis wants to ensure that the state’s pension fund is managed in a way that focuses on growing returns, rather than subsidizing an ideological agenda. In a letter to the interim director of the State Board of Administration, DeSantis emphasized the need to prudently manage the funds of hardworking law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters, and first responders.[1]

This move by DeSantis is part of his ongoing battle against what he calls “woke capitalism.” The governor has previously clashed with the Walt Disney Company over objections to a state law that restricts how schools teach about sexual orientation and gender identity. DeSantis and Disney are currently involved in two separate lawsuits over the governor’s decision to strip the theme park giant of its longstanding special government powers in Central Florida.[2]

The decline in Bud Light sales can be attributed in part to the company’s partnership with transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney.[1] This collaboration sparked a conservative backlash, with musician Kid Rock and others calling for a boycott of the brand. As a result, Bud Light sales have plummeted by about 25% year-over-year.[2]

DeSantis has expressed his intention to launch an inquiry into AB InBev and Bud Light, and this investigation may lead to a derivative lawsuit filed on behalf of the shareholders of Florida’s pension fund.[3] The governor believes that there should be penalties for companies that prioritize their social agenda over the interests of hardworking people.[4]

In a letter to the manager of Florida’s pension fund, DeSantis suggests that AB InBev breached its legal duties to shareholders by associating with “radical social ideologies.”[1] The governor is urging the fund manager to consider legal action against the company.[5]

The state’s pension fund currently holds over 682,000 shares of AB InBev, valued at nearly $46 million.[1] Although the company’s stock price has fallen since the conservative boycott, it is still higher than its 52-week low.[0] DeSantis, along with the state’s attorney general and chief financial officer, serves as a trustee of the State Board of Administration, which manages public workers’ retirement funds.[1]

DeSantis’ actions against AB InBev and Bud Light demonstrate his willingness to use the power of the state to weigh in on cultural and political issues.[4] As a sitting governor, he has the advantage of being able to influence these matters, unlike many other potential 2024 presidential candidates who are not currently in office.

This is not the first time DeSantis has used the state pension fund and state finances to push back against what he refers to as “woke capitalism.” In 2022, he pulled state funds from BlackRock Inc. over their engagement in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. DeSantis has been a vocal critic of stakeholder management, arguing that it diverts a company’s focus from shareholder responsibility.[0]

Overall, Governor Ron DeSantis’ investigation and potential lawsuit against AB InBev and Bud Light reflect his commitment to holding companies accountable for prioritizing social activism over shareholder interests. He believes that businesses should focus on growing returns and not subsidize ideological agendas through “woke virtue signaling.”[6] DeSantis’ actions highlight his ongoing battle against what he perceives as “woke capitalism” and his determination to use the power of the state to address these issues.

0. “Florida Governor Threatens Investigation into AB InBev as Share Prices Crash Amid Boycott” Clayton County Register, 21 Jul. 2023, https://www.claytoncountyregister.com/uncategorized/absolutely-hurts-florida-gov-ron-desantis-threatens-lawsuit-after-bud-light-stock-losses/27280

1. “Now DeSantis Is Threatening Bud Light With Legal Action” The Daily Beast, 21 Jul. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/now-ron-desantis-is-threatening-bud-light-parent-company-ab-inbev-with-legal-action

2. “DeSantis calls for state investment manager to consider action against Bud Light’s parent company” CNN, 21 Jul. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/07/20/politics/desantis-letter-bud-light-company/index.html

3. “Florida pensions took a bath on ‘woke’ beer … and Ron DeSantis wants revenge” Florida Politics, 21 Jul. 2023, https://floridapolitics.com/archives/624344-florida-pensions-took-a-bath-on-woke-beer-and-ron-desantis-wants-revenge/

4. “DeSantis Floats Lawsuit Against ‘Woke’ Beer While Trump Continues Cleaning His Clock” Mediaite, 21 Jul. 2023, https://www.mediaite.com/tv/desantis-floats-lawsuit-against-woke-bud-light-while-trump-continues-cleaning-his-clock/

5. “DeSantis Positions For Lawsuit Against Anheuser-Busch Over ESG And Mulvaney” Forbes, 21 Jul. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmcgowan/2023/07/20/desantis-positions-for-lawsuit-against-anheuser-busch-over-esg-and-mulvaney

6. “Now Ron takes on Bud Light: DeSantis urges Florida pension fund manager to probe beer giant AB InBev for ‘putt” Daily Mail, 21 Jul. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12322171/Now-Ron-takes-Bud-Light-DeSantis-urges-Florida-pension-fund-manager-probe-beer-giant-AB-InBev-putting-social-agenda-ahead-shareholders-interests-Dylan-Mulvaney-campaign.html

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top