China Markets

AB InBev prices its Budweiser offering at HK$27 — the second biggest IPO this year

Key Points
  • AB InBev prices the IPO of its Asia business at HK$27 a share, at the low end of the expected range.
  • Still, the offering is expected to raise up to $5 billion in its offering in what is set to be the second biggest IPO this year.
  • Budweiser APAC is scheduled to start trading on Sept. 30 under the stock code 1876 on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Budweiser beer bottle labels during a Anheuser-Busch InBev NV news conference in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019.
Kyle Lam | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Anheuser-Busch InBev priced its Budweiser initial public offering at HK$27 a share, the company announced early Tuesday.

The brewer also said it is issuing an additional 189,354,000 shares to meet market demand, bringing the total offering amount to 1.45 billion shares. After exercising this upsize option, Budweiser APAC's IPO is expected to raise HK$39.2 billion or about US$5 billion.

Still, the HK$27 per share price is at the bottom of its expected range. 

Last week, AB InBev said it would offer 1.3 billion shares at between HK$27 and HK$30 ($3.45-$3.83) apiece in its second attempt to list its Asian business in Hong Kong.

Budweiser APAC pricing at the lower end came as "no surprise at all," Dickie Wong, research director at Kingston Securities, said in an email to CNBC on Tuesday, citing sluggish public tranche subscription.

But it's a "fair deal" for investors, especially given AB InBev's new focus on the premium beer market in China, he told CNBC's "Capital Connection" a day earlier on Monday.

"In China, especially the premium … and ultra premium beer market has been doing very well, outperforming everywhere, in fact," he said.

Even at the low end of the expected range, the IPO is expected to be the second biggest globally this year, trailing the $8.1 billion that Uber Technologies raised in May, data from Refinitiv shows.

In July, the brewing giant tried to raise almost twice that amount — up to $9.8 billion. However, it said it would not proceed, given "several factors, including the prevailing market conditions."

If completed, Budweiser APAC's market debut would provide a boost for Hong Kong after China's Alibaba last month delayed a listing worth up to $15 billion amid the ongoing unrest in the former British colony.

AB InBev, the world's largest brewer, has been working to reduce a debt pile of more than US$100 billion that it built up with the purchase of nearest rival SABMiller in late 2016.

Budweiser APAC is scheduled to start trading on Sept. 30 under the stock code 1876 on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

— Reuters contributed to this report.