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Busch Family Members Reach Agreement Toward Purchase Of Grant's Farm

Grant's Farm Times file photo.

September 08, 2017
After a Busch family dispute over Grant's Farm that was tied up in court for more than a year, the siblings have settled the sale among themselves.

Five members of the family plan to buy the sprawling 270-acre sprawling animal park in south St. Louis County for $51 million, according to a spokesperson for the new ownership group that includes Beatrice Busch Von Gontard, Peter Busch, Trudy Busch Valentine, Andrew Busch and Robert Hermann Jr. All are descendants of August A. "Gussie" Busch Jr.

The group recently announced the sale and its plans to keep Grant's Farm free and open to the public. The announcement on Aug. 30 came more than a year after a judge ruled in June 2016 that Wells Fargo, trust manager for the property, had the power to decide whether to sell Grant's Farm and who to sell it to. The matter went to court after two groups of the Busch siblings were vying to purchase the park.

In 2016, both groups had offered to buy Grant's Farm for $26 million and the family mansion on the property for an additional $8 million. Before offering to purchase the property, the larger group of siblings had proposed selling Grant's Farm to the Saint Louis Zoo.

Their younger brother, Billy Busch, who owns Kräftig beer and proposed putting a small brewery on the site and renting space for events in the park, offered to buy the property for a dollar more than his siblings. The other siblings claimed Billy Busch did not have the financial means to keep the park operating and open to the public long-term as they were planning to do.

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The latest plan for the group of Busch family members to purchase the park for $51 million was the result of "amicable relations among the siblings and a proposed sale that is imminent," according to a spokesperson for the family members.

"We are absolutely thrilled with this outcome," Gussie Busch's daughter, Trudy Busch Valentine, said on behalf of the new ownership group. "Our grandfather bought Grant's Farm in 1903. It means so much to our family to preserve this legacy."

Billy Busch said he's pleased he could convince his siblings to keep Grant's Farm and the family's home under Busch ownership.

The $51 million sale includes Grant's Farm, the family mansion, other parcels of the property and a parking lot. Billy Busch has been invited to join his siblings in the purchase, which he is still considering.

Although the group had proposed selling Grant's Farm to the Saint Louis Zoo in 2015, there are no plans to resell the property at this time, the spokesperson said.

Grant's Farm will be operated by Anheuser-Busch InBev under a lease from the family, which is similar to the arrangement that has been in place since 2008 when InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch.

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