AB InBev Asia unit gains 4% in Hong Kong debut after relaunching IPO



HONG KONG (Reuters) – Shares in AB InBev’s Asia-Pacific unit (HK:), which last week raised about $5 billion after relaunching its initial public offering (IPO), gained as much as 4% on their market debut in Hong Kong on Monday.

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (AB InBev) (BR:), the world’s largest brewer, relaunched the unit IPO this month after cancelling a plan for a bigger float in July citing “several factors, including the prevailing market conditions”.

The Asia unit, Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd , raised about $5 billion in the world’s second-biggest IPO this year, after pricing the Hong Kong float at the bottom of a marketed range.

Budweiser APAC shares rose to as much as HK$28.10 at open on Monday, compared to its IPO price of HK$27 per share. The stock was trading at HK$28, up 3.79%, at 1001 local time (0201 GMT), while the market index () was down 0.2%.

Proceeds from the IPO of Budweiser APAC, whose portfolio of more than 50 beer brands includes Stella Artois and Corona, will help AB InBev reduce debt of over $100 billion accumulated following the purchase of rival SABMiller (LON:) in late 2016.

The brewer also has another goal – to create an Asian champion to spur consolidation. Analysts see the brewing assets of San Miguel (PS:) of the Philippines or of Thai Beverage (SI:) as possible partners or targets.

JPMorgan (N:) and Morgan Stanley (N:) are the joint sponsors of the Budweiser IPO. They are also among the global coordinators for the offering with Bank of America (NYSE:) Merrill Lynch and Chinese investment bank CICC.

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