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AB InBev Asia unit sets terms for US$9.8b Hong Kong IPO

[SINGAPORE] Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd, the Asia-Pacific unit of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, has set terms for a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) that could raise as much as US$9.8 billion.

The arm of the world's largest brewer plans to offer 1.63 billion shares at HK$40 to HK$47 apiece, according to terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg. Budweiser will start taking investor orders on Tuesday and price the offering on July 11. Trading is expected to commence on July 19.

At US$9.8 billion, Budweiser Brewing's first-time share sale would be the world's biggest this year, surpassing Uber Technologies Inc's US$8.1 billion offering in May, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price range represents a market capitalisation of US$54 billion to US$64 billion for Budweiser.

AB InBev is among multinational companies that are reviewing their business strategies in Asia amid fierce competition from local rivals. French hypermarket operator Carrefour SA has agreed to sell a controlling stake to China's Suning.com Co, while German food retailer Metro AG has put its China operations up for bidding.

JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley are joint sponsors for the Hong Kong share sale, according to a preliminary prospectus.

BLOOMBERG