AB InBev set to revive Budweiser Asia IPO with $5 bln float -sources

Credit: REUTERS/FRANCOIS LENOIR

The world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, which shelved a Hong Kong IPO of its Asia Pacific unit in July, is planning to raise about $5 billion from a revived float, people with knowledge of the matter said.

By Julie Zhu

HONG KONG, Sept 12 (Reuters) - The world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev ABI.BR, which shelved a Hong Kong IPO of its Asia Pacific unit in July, is planning to raise about $5 billion from a revived float, people with knowledge of the matter said.

AB InBev, which had aimed to raise as much as $9.8 billion in the IPO of Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd 1876.HK to help with its heavy debt burden of over $100 billion, aims to re-launch the float as soon as next week, the sources said.

It is tentatively looking to price the deal on September 23 and list the unit on September 30, said two sources who declined to be identified as the information was private.

AB InBev said in a statement that it was continuing to explore an IPO in Hong Kong of Budweiser APAC, two months after shelving the planned listing of up to $9.8 billion in what would have been the largest IPO of 2019.

Budweiser APAC has resumed its application for the listing of a minority stake of its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, excluding its Australian operations, which the parent agreed to sell to Japan's Asahi Group 2502.T for $11 billion shortly after the IPO was shelved in July.

Budweiser APAC declined to comment on the IPO details. AB InBev did not respond to a request for immediate comment.

The listing would be a boost for the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after Reuters reported last month that China's biggest e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA.N had delayed a listing in Hong Kong worth up to $15 billion amid growing political unrest in the Asian financial hub.

The development also comes after Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd 0388.HK announced a $39 billion takeover approach to the London Stock Exchange Plc LSE.L on Wednesday that received a cool response from investors concerned about regulatory and financial hurdles.

(Reporting by Julie Zhu; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely)

((julie.zhu1@thomsonreuters.com; +852 2843 6519; Reuters Messaging: julie.zhu1.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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