Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (AB InBev) is looking to raise up to $9.8 billion from a Hong Kong listing of its Asia-Pacific business, marking what would be the world’s largest initial public offering (IPO) this year.
Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, which includes a portfolio of more than 50 beer brands in the region, is selling 1.6 billion primary shares at between HK$40-47 ($5.13-$6.02) apiece, according to termsheets seen by Reuters.
The deal will raise between $8.3 billion and $9.8 billion for heavily-indebted AB InBev before any over-allocation option is included, giving Budweiser Asia a market capitalization of up to $63.7 billion after the IPO.
Even at the low end of the price range, the IPO will be the biggest globally this year, outstripping the $8.1 billion raised in New York by Uber, data from Refinitiv shows.
AB InBev has previously said an IPO of its Asia business could help create a brewing champion for the region, where wealthy consumers are increasingly trading up to higher-margin premium beers, such as Budweiser or Corona.
The IPO pricing values Budweiser Asia at 16-18 times its enterprise value (EV) to Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) ratio, one termsheet shows.
EV-Ebitda is a common valuation metric that seeks to help investors compare companies’ operations and strip out the different effects of financing costs.
Budweiser Asia’s ratio compares with an EV-Ebitda value of 11 for AB InBev itself, according to Refinitiv data, 15 for China-focused Tsingtao and 10 for Japan’s Kirin, another Asia-centric brewing giant.
The deal will be a welcome boost to Hong Kong, which is lagging behind the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq in terms of IPOs this year, with $8.9 billion to its credit compared with $14.9 billion and $17.5 billion raised by its US rivals.
The biggest listing in the Asian financial hub so far in 2019 has been that of Chinese securities firm Shenwan Hongyuan HK Ltd that raised $1.2 billion in April.reuters