AB InBev revives HK IPO of Asian unit, seeks to raise $4.85b

Bottles of beer move along a conveyor belt at the Anheuser-Busch InBev NV Budweiser bottling facility in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV revived the Hong Kong initial public offering of its Asian unit and is set to raise as much as HK$37.9 billion ($4.85 billion), roughly half of an earlier target, people with knowledge of the matter said.

About 1.26 billion of Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd. shares will be marketed at HK$27 to HK$30 each, said the people who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. The brewer shelved a share sale in July in which it sought to raise as much as $9.8 billion, and agreed to sell its Australian business to Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. for $11.3 billion a week later.

The offering, which is scheduled to begin Wednesday, has attracted GIC Pte. as a cornerstone investor with a commitment of about $1 billion, one of the people said. Budweiser Brewing is expected to price the shares on Sept. 23 and to debut on Sept. 30, the people said. The company will hold a press briefing at 5 p.m. Hong Kong time on Tuesday.

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 the U.S. and China are rocking the market. It will also propel Hong Kong to surpass Shanghai as the world’s No. 3 in terms of first-time share sale volume. Excluding Budweiser Brewing, companies have raised a total of $10.8 billion through IPOs in the financial hub this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

At $4.85 billion, the brewer’s IPO would be the world’s second largest this year, trailing Uber Technologies Inc.’s $8.1 billion U.S. 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.

Representatives for AB InBev and GIC declined to comment. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are the joint sponsors for the Hong Kong share sale.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.