- Anheuser-Busch InBev, the brewer of Budweiser and Bud Light, is selling is Australia business to Asahi Group Holdings.
- Asahi Group is paying $US11 billion for brands including Foster’s and Carlton and United Breweries in a move that will help the company expand internationally.
- The deal announcement comes after AB InBev canceled a planned initial public offering for its Asia business. That would have been the largest worldwide IPO of 2019.
- Shares of AB InBev rose 4.5% early Friday on the news.
- Watch AB InBev trade live.
Anheuser-Busch InBev – the maker of Budweiser – is raising $US11 billion through a sale of its Australia business after withdrawing a public offering of its Asia unit last week.
Asahi Group Holdings, one of the largest beverage companies in Japan, will buy AB InBev’s Australian assets, including Foster’s beer and Carlton and United Breweries. Asahi intends to finance the deal with by selling as much as $US1.9 billion worth of shares, issuing bonds, and using a bridge loan, according to Bloomberg.
Shares of AB InBev rose by 4.5% early Friday as the deal will help the company pay down its $US100 billion debt pile from its purchase of rival brewer SAB Miller in 2016.
AB InBev was planning to list its Asia business on the Hong Kong stock exchange in attempt to raise as much as $US10 billion.The company said in a statement it was backing out of the IPO partially because of “prevailing market conditions.” The IPO would have been the largest in the world if it went through, surpassing the $US8.1 billion Uber raised in May.
This sale could also help AB InBev better position itself for any future share offering of its remaining Asia-pacific business. Some investor’s thought Budweiser Asia’s proposed $US64 billion valuation was too high, and selling off its slowing Australia business could reduce that price tag.
Carlton and United, the Australian-based brewery being sold to Asahi, joined AB InBev in 2016 through its acquisition of SAB Miller. The deal will help Asahi, which is a dominate beverage seller in Japan, expand to international markets.
AB InBev is up 42% year-to-date.
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