Thu, 04 Jun 2020

AB InBev to seek up to $4.85bn in Asian unit IPO

17 Sep 2019, 22:14 GMT+10

Anheuser-Busch InBev is reviving the Hong Kong initial public offering of its Asian unit and is set to raise as much as $4.8bn, roughly half of an earlier target.

About 1.26 billion of Budweiser Brewing Company APAC shares will be marketed at HK$27 to HK$30 each, the company said at a press conference in Hong Kong. The brewer shelved a share sale in July in which it sought to raise as much as $9.8bn, and agreed to sell its Australian business to Asahi Group for $11.3bn a week later.

The offering has attracted GIC Pte. as a cornerstone investor with a commitment of $1bn, the company said. The previous attempt didn't have a cornerstone investor.

The return of Budweiser Brewing's IPO is set to boost the Hong Kong bourse at a time when the city's ongoing anti-government protests and trade tensions between US and China are rocking the market. It will also propel Hong Kong past Shanghai as the world's No. 3 in terms of first-time share sale volume. Excluding Budweiser Brewing, companies have raised a total of $10.8bn through IPOs in the financial hub this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

At $4.8bn, the brewer's IPO would be the world's second largest this year, trailing Uber's $8.1bn US sale in May, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

"If Budweiser can go public successfully, it will have a positive impact on Hong Kong's capital markets that would demonstrate there's good appetite for major listings," said Edward Au, a Hong Kong-based co-leader of national public offering group at Deloitte China. That will also pave an easier path for upcoming smaller share sales, he added.

AB InBev will price shares of Budweiser Brewing on September 23, and they will debut on September 30, the company said.

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