AB InBev to raise $9.8bn in world's largest IPO - reports
Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev is looking to raise nearly $10bn by floating a minority stake in its Asia-Pacific business, in what would be the world’s largest initial public offering so far this year.
The world’s largest brewer will reportedly float shares in the Budweiser Brewing Company APAC in Hong Kong. Reuters said the company was aiming to sell 1.6bn primary shares at between HK$40 and HK$47 a share, with JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley acting as joint sponsors.
The deal is expected to raise up to $9.8bn, and would give Budweiser APAC a market capitalisation of between $54bn and $64bn following flotation.
The money is expected to be used to grow the business and take advantage of the booming Asian market. According to the Financial Times, the unit generated revenues of $8.5bn last year, supported by mature markets in Australia and Korea. Its fast-growing China business is expected to be the driver for growth going forward, however, as Chinese consumers move from local beers to more expensive premium brands like Budweiser.
Chief financial officer Felipe Dutra has already said AB InBev wants to make the Asia-Pacific business a "local champion".
Funds could also be used to pay down debt. AB InBev acquired SABMiller in a £79bn deal in 2016, creating the world’s largest beer company but also leaving it highly leveraged.
Trading is expected to start on 19 July.
The largest IPO this year was Uber’s New York debut in May, which raised $8.1bn.
AB InBev declined to comment.