AB InBev said to pick JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley for Asia IPO

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 has selected JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley for a possible initial public offering of its Asian operations in what could be one the region’s biggest listings this year, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The world’s largest brewer is considering Hong Kong as a listing venue but hasn’t made a final decision, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The Belgium-based company is considering choosing more arrangers to join the deal later, one of the people said.

“In line with our culture, we are always looking at opportunities to optimize our business and drive long-term growth, of course subject to our strict financial discipline,” a representative for AB InBev said in a statement. “We are committed to our businesses in the Asia Pacific region and excited about the potential in this geography.”

A IPO of AB InBev’s Asia business could raise more than $5 billion, people familiar with the matter said last month. Only three IPOs on Asia exchanges topped that amount last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That included China Tower Corp.’s $7.5 billion listing and Xiaomi Corp.’s $5.4 billion offering, both in Hong Kong. SoftBank Group Corp.’s $21 billion listing in December of its Japanese mobile unit in Tokyo was the second-largest of all time.

A representative for JPMorgan declined to comment. A representative for Morgan Stanley said the bank couldn’t immediately comment.

A listing could give AB InBev’s Asian business a value ranging from $40 billion to $70 billion based on early estimates, though the eventual figure would depend on market demand and growth prospects, people familiar with the matter have previously said.

The maker of Budweiser beer has been looking to reduce borrowings after its purchase of SABMiller Plc for more than $100 billion in 2016. AB InBev shares fell 38 percent last year, making it one of the worst performers on the Euro Stoxx 50 index of European blue chips. Its shares have risen almost 16 percent this year, driven largely by news of its possible Asia listing.

Bloomberg

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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.