A-B InBev resurrects plans for Hong Kong listing

Global brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev (A-B InBev) has revived plans to list a minority stake of its shares in its Asia Pacific business unit, Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Limited, on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The resumption follows its withdrawal in July not to go forward with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in Hong Kong following what it said was unfavourable “market conditions”.

The company in a statement on Thursday said it had “resumed its application for the listing of a minority stake of its shares” and that its completion would depend on “a number of factors and prevailing market conditions.”

Since calling-off the IPO in July, the brewing company has sold its Australian business unit to Japanese brewer, Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. for $11.3 billion.

The company is seeking to reduce its debt burden of over $100bn acquired from its takeover of SABMiller in 2016.

With the sale of its more matured Australian business unit to Asahi, the prize in the new IPO is China, a potentially more attractive offer to investors, say sources close to the discussion. China is forecasted to offer more growth opportunity, as an increasingly affluent middle-class gains a taste for foreign labels such as Budweiser. It could also be that the company is looking at acquiring other brewers in the region and need a listing to proceed.

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