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AB INBEV REVIVED HK IPO PLAN WITH A MORE CHINA ORIENTED BUSINESS

By Staff Reporter

13-9-2019



Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (AB InBev) has revived the plan to list its Asia Pacific business on Hong Kong Stock Exchange, two months after pulling out from an earlier IPO plan.

The Financial Times quoted analyst as saying that the revived listing plan is now “more of a China story”, after the removal of Australian subsidiary Carlton & United. It said the removal of the more mature Australia business will potentially make the offering more attractive to investors.

AB InBev has a portfolio of more than 50 beer brands including Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and Hoegardeen.

AB InBev said yesterday it has “resumed its application” to list its Budweiser APAC division without disclosing the target price range.

Reuters new agency quoted sources as reporting that AB InBev is seeking to raise USD5billion in this new attempt. This compares to the USD9.8bn it planned to raise from the now shelved July plan.

AB InBev quoted “market conditions” when decided to shelf the July IPO plan. It soon announced that it had agreed to sell its Australian subsidiary Carlton & United to Japanese brewer Asahi for AUD16bn (USD11bn).

Without Australia, the Financial Times said, Budweiser APAC’s revenues were up 7.4 percent last year to USD6.74bn. It said China is expected to be the most important driver of growth, as its fast growing middle class population gains a taste for foreign brands.

The money raised will be used to pay off AB InBev’s huge debt load of more than USD100bn, much of it was accumulated from its acquisition of another brewer SabMiller.

It is also suggested that AB InBev may be interested in buying Philippines brewer San Miguel or the Vietnamese state-owned Sabeco.

(the writer can be contacted at: info@thewinechronicle.com)

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