Budweiser Asia IPO is junked. It would have been the year’s biggest

Posted at 1:28 PM, Jul 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-12 15:57:19-04

Anheuser-Busch InBev shelved plans for an IPO of its Asia business, canceling what would have been the biggest public offering of the year.

The company, which is the parent of Budweiser, intended to raise as much as $9.8 billion by listing Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, the largest brewer in Asia by retail sales, on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The IPO would have topped Uber, which raised $8.1 billion in New York.

ABI cited “several factors including the prevailing market conditions.”

The size of the deal, price of the IPO and quality of the book of investors prepared to buy shares were part of the factors, a person with knowledge of the matter told CNN Business.

Asian stock markets have been turbulent this year, because of the trade war between the United States and China. Still, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up more than 10% since the start of the year, and it has climbed 6% since the end of May.

ABI is the market leader in China with 46.6% of market share in the premium and super premium price points, according to a report from ratings agency Fitch. China was the world’s largest beer consumer by volume in 2018.

The proceeds from the IPO could have helped ABI pay off some of its elevated debt, and improve the company’s credit profile, said the Fitch report.