“这就是我们在拉美看到的情况，所以我们押注，同样的模式也可能在亚洲奏效，”在过去近15年担任百威淡爽(Bud Light)和时代啤酒(Stella Artois)酿造商首席执行官的薄睿拓表示。
原文：Budweiser owner wants Asia listing to boost acquisitions
The head of Anheuser-Busch InBev is betting that a planned public listing in Asia will help the world’s largest brewer expand in the fast-growing region via acquisitions.
The company has been meeting investors since mid-June to gauge demand for the initial public offering of Budweiser APAC in Hong Kong, according to people familiar with the process, and will decide whether to press ahead in July, depending on price and market conditions.
Asked about the listing at a press event in Belgium, AB InBev chief executive Carlos Brito likened the potential sale of a minority stake in its Asian business to how the company used AmBev, its Brazilian listed subsidiary, to help convince owners of beer companies in Latin America to sell to AB InBev over the past 20 years.
“The number one reason to do the listing is to have a platform in the region that is seen as closer to those markets and connected to what the region will do, since that’s something that can be attractive to local groups,” he told the Financial Times. Sellers feel “more comfortable” joining forces with and being paid in shares of a local entity, rather than a global one.
“That’s what we saw in Latin America, so we’re betting that the same model could work in Asia,” said Mr Brito, who has led the maker of Bud Light and Stella Artois for nearly 15 years.
Backed by the Brazilian billionaires behind 3G Capital, Mr Brito’s AB InBev used cheap debt to consolidate the fragmented global brewing industry and perfected a model of ruthless cost-cutting to rapidly boost margins at the acquired businesses.
Its most recent large deal, the £79bn acquisition of SABMiller, left it highly leveraged, carrying $102.5bn in debt at the end of 2018, giving it a net debt-to-ebitda ratio of 4.6 times.
If AB InBev pushes ahead with the Asia IPO, it could raise $5bn to $10bn that will be used to cut debt, analysts said.
Although JPMorgan, one of the lead banks on the IPO, has valued the Asia unit at $63bn to $77bn, Jefferies and Bernstein Research, which are not involved in the process, reckon it is worth $45bn to $55bn.
Budweiser APAC includes a fast-growing business in China, as well as a more mature, profitable one in Australia and Korea. The latter generated almost two-thirds of last year’s revenue of $8.5bn and just over half of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $2.8bn, according to the IPO filing.
But China is expected to be the main growth driver as the burgeoning middle class trades up from local brews to foreign ones like Budweiser, which are positioned as premium brands.