Business Digest | Bud gets sibling


Anheuser-Busch is releasing a sibling to Budweiser this week, tweaking its second-biggest brand and the company's oldest existing beer.

The new Budweiser American Ale, hitting bars on draft this week and in stores soon in bottles, is a hoppier, more amber-colored version of its older sibling, which is second only to best-selling Bud Light.

The nation's largest brewer hopes the ale will woo new drinkers who may not have reached for the brand before, said Dave Peacock, vice president of marketing for Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc.

It also can draw attention to the fact that the original Budweiser, which dates to 1876 and which the company calls “The Great American Lager,” is just that, he said. Associated Press


Airbus SAS, the world's largest plane maker, said it's sticking with a goal of delivering 12 A380 superjumbo jetliners this year, denying reports that the manufacturer would further delay the aircraft.

Airbus is “ready to take a bet” that it will meet its delivery goal, Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said Friday at the company's headquarters in Toulouse, France, where Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd. received its first A380.

The plane maker is scrambling to meet the delivery target for the double-decker amid difficulties in the installation of interior fittings. It handed over one A380 last year and has shipped seven this year, including the Qantas plane. Bloomberg News


Schering-Plough Corp. said Friday that it will cut 1,000 sales jobs as part of broader cuts in a move to reduce costs and reposition itself in an ever-changing industry.

The Kenilworth, N.J.-based pharmaceutical company said it will cut 20 percent of its U.S. sales force, leaving 4,000 positions. The layoffs are part of a 10 percent reduction in staff announced in April. In all, the company hopes cost cuts and layoffs since the buyout of biotechnology company Organon Biosciences in November will save it $1.5 billion annually by 2012.

The buyout of Organon, for $14.4 billion, fits into the larger pharmaceutical industry trend toward a shift to biotechnology-based products. Many of the largest players in the sector have either been buying biotech companies or creating their own biotech units to help fill depleted pipelines and position themselves for future blockbuster products. Associated Press


Steven Spielberg raised $1.3 billion to re-establish DreamWorks SKG as an independent film studio and break away from Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures, people familiar with the director's efforts said.

The new studio is backed with a $550 million equity investment by Indian billionaire Anil Ambani and $750 million in debt financing lined up by JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to two people familiar with the arrangements.

The investment by Ambani's Mumbai-based Reliance Entertainment Pvt. allows Spielberg, 61, to leave Viacom, where he clashed with Paramount studio chief Brad Grey. Paramount said in a statement it will let Spielberg and DreamWorks chief Stacey Snider join the new company immediately. The two sides will have to negotiate the projects Spielberg can take, Bill Mechanic, former head of News Corp.'s Fox studios, said in an interview.

“If they leave behind all their projects, starting up will be a harder process,” Mechanic said. Bloomberg News