World's largest brewer AB InBev considers public listing of Asian operations

 
James Warrington
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The brewer is reportedly in discussions with bankers about a potential initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong (Source: Getty)

Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev is eyeing up a partial flotation of its Asian business in a move that could raise billions of dollars.


The brewer behind major beer brands including Budweiser and Stella Artois is in discussions with bankers about a potential initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong that could help to reduce its debt burden.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that the listing could raise more than $5bn (£3.9bn), with the firm’s total Asian business worth $70bn.

But banking sources told Reuters a flotation of between $2bn and $3bn was more realistic.

An AB InBev spokesperson said: “In line with our culture, we always look at opportunities to optimise our business and drive long-term growth and we are very committed to our business in the Asia-Pacific region and excited about the potential of this geography.”


Shares in AB InBev jumped more than six per cent yesterday on the reports, before closing up 3.71 per cent.

The Belgium-based brewer cut its shareholder dividend in October after posting disappointing third quarter results due to a decline in beer sales in the US. The company said it is prioritising debt repayment in a bid to deleverage the company.

In 2016 AB InBev became the world’s largest brewer after completing a £79bn takeover of British drinks giant SABMiller.

AB InBev has been contacted for comment.