AB InBev Asia unit delays pricing of largest 2019 IPO: Reuters

While its shares were oversubscribed, the pricing of AB InBev’s large initial public offering has been delayed.

Portfolio beer brands of Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd
Budweiser APAC, whose portfolio of more than 50 beer brands includes Stella Artois and Corona, is seeking to raise between $8.3bn and $9.8bn in its initial public offering [File: Andrew Geoffrey Jackson/Reuters]

Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, the Asia-Pacific business of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), will not price its initial public offering of up to $9.8bn by Friday as planned, two people with knowledge of the matter told the Reuters news agency.

Budweiser APAC, whose portfolio of more than 50 beer brands includes Stella Artois and Corona, guided potential investors towards the bottom of a marketed pricing range for its Hong Kong float, which would be the world’s biggest IPO this year, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Investors already subscribed for more shares than the company is offering in the float. The books, which have attracted orders from long-only institutions, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds, closed on Thursday.

The company’s executives and representatives from cosponsors JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley have been holding the pricing meeting since then. The final price was expected to be set by Friday, sources told Reuters.

It was not immediately clear why Budweiser APAC delayed the pricing decision.

But the Bloomberg news agency reported that arrangers on the deal reviewing the investor orders are having difficulty finding sufficient demand to price the deal within the current range, the people said. The company will meet advisers over the weekend to decide the next steps, a person with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.

According to its prospectus, if the offer price cannot be finalised by Monday, July 15 (Hong Kong Time), the IPO will not proceed and will lapse.

Budweiser APAC is selling about 1.6 billion primary shares at between 40-47 Hong Kong dollars ($5.13-$6.02) apiece in the IPO, seeking to raise between $8.3bn and $9.8bn, much of which will go towards paying down debt at its highly leveraged parent.

A spokesman for Budweiser APAC declined to comment, Reuters reported.

Source: News Agencies