Anheuser-Busch InBev, (NYSE: BUD) which is the world’s largest brewer threw into doubts the largest initial public offering of the year by postponing pricing the sale of its shares in its Asian Business.
AB InBev has been willing to list a minority stake in Budweiser APAC for up to USD 9,8 Billions. Selling those stakes is very important to AB InBev in order to fix its balance sheet after it saw its debt rise because of an acquisition that costed more than USD 100 Billions. Listing its Asian Business would allow the company to have a vehicle to acquire regional rivals and it could also attract investors.
The deal Brewer had been expected to narrow the price range of between HKD 40 to HKD 47 per share by July 11. Ab InBev wanted to list 1.6 Billion primary shares in a deal that would have valued the business at between USD 54.2 Billion and USD 63.7 Billion. Bernstein analysts wrote last week that they saw “limited value upside even at the bottom of the range” that AB InBev had set.
Bloomberg and Reuters also reported earlier that the banks working on the IPO for AB InBev were having trouble finding enough demand to price it within the current range established.
The listing of its Asian business also represents a new opportunity for the company since China is expected to be the main growth driver as the it middle class trades up from local brews to foreign ones such as Budweiser, which are positioned as premium brands.