Billy Busch offers $1 more than siblings for Grant's Farm

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Kraftig Brewing Co. founder William K. "Billy" Busch is now offering $1 more than his siblings in his effort to buy Grant's Farm in south St. Louis County.

Busch on Monday increased his offer for the attraction to $26,000,001. He is offering an additional $8 million to buy the family mansion and 22 acres that adjoin the popular attraction that includes 900 animals and is home to some of the Budweiser Clydesdales. It opened in 1954.

Grant's Farm has long been owned by the Busch Family, founders of Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser-Busch InBev, formed when the Belgian brewer purchased Anheuser-Busch in 2008, leases Grant's Farm from the Busch family.

Last year, four of the six siblings tried to sell it to the St. Louis Zoo, which would have used it for a third campus and breeding site for endangered animals.

Billy Busch, with the support of one brother, sought to buy Grant's Farm himself, originally offering $24.2 million. The zoo announced in March it was no longer interested, and the other four siblings made a $26 million offer in April to buy it from a trust.

"I do not want to get into a bidding war with my brothers and sisters, who I love, but if they and their advisers have been so intent on getting the Trust to sell Grant's Farm, why do they now want to buy it?" Billy Busch asked in a statement. "Why not authorize the trust to sell it to me? My plan would benefit each of us."

The six siblings are all children of August "Gussie" Busch Jr. and his third wife, Gertrude. The four opposed to selling to Billy Busch have expressed fear he would develop the land for subdivisions. A message left with their attorney was not immediately returned.

Billy Busch has said Grant's Farm would remain a free tourist attraction under his ownership, but that he would add a new pavilion, exhibits and life-sized bronze statues of his parents. His plan also would include a demonstration brewery for Kraftig, Billy Busch's fast-growing beer company.