Business

Budweiser maker plans to list Asia unit in Hong Kong, raise almost $7b

HONG KONG: The maker of Budweiser and Stella Artois beers has revived plans to list its Asia unit in Hong Kong, saying it wants to raise almost US$5 billion (S$7 billion) in what would be the world's second-biggest initial public offering (IPO) this year.

The decision by Belgium-listed Anheuser-Busch InBev to sell the stake will provide a much-needed boost to the Hong Kong stock exchange, which has been hit by months of sometimes violent protests in the city as well as the China-US trade war.

The world's biggest brewer had previously hoped to raise almost US$10 billion in an IPO earlier in the year, but the deal was pulled in July after it failed to garner enough support from institutional funds to meet the company's expectations.

Soon after, it sold its assets in Australia - including the Foster's beer brand - to Japanese mega-brewer Asahi for US$11.3 billion, helping pare back some of its more than $100 billion debts, much of it stemming from its blockbuster 2016 acquisition of SABMiller.

Its new offering has the backing of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, with a commitment of US$1 billion, the company said. - AFP

BUSINESS & FINANCE