AB InBev Asia unit raises $5 billion in world’s second-largest 2019 IPO: sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (AB InBev) (ABI.BR) raised about $5 billion after pricing the Hong Kong IPO of its Asia-Pacific business at the bottom of an indicative range, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The brewing giant, which in July tried to raise up to $9.8 billion through an initial public offering (IPO) of Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd (1876.HK), priced shares at the lower end of the HK$27 to HK$30 indicative range, they said.

At a final deal size of $5 billion, the IPO will be the second-biggest globally this year, trailing only the $8.1 billion flotation of Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) in May, data from Refinitiv showed.

The offering was one of a number of sizeable IPOs widely seen as tests of investor sentiment following anti-government protests that have roiled Hong Kong for nearly four months and weighed on the stock market.

Markets more generally are also on edge amid a trade dispute between the United States and China as well as slowing global growth.

Budweiser APAC declined to comment on the IPO pricing. The people with knowledge of the matter declined to be identified as they were not authorized to discuss deal details with the media.

AB InBev had included a rare “upsize” option in the deal that enabled the Belgium-based brewer to sell up to 36.8% more shares in the offering. That option was partially exercised, the people said.

Proceeds will help AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, reduce debt of over $100 billion accumulated following the purchase of rival SABMiller in late 2016.

Reporting by Julie Zhu; Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Kim Coghill and Christopher CushingOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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