Budweiser APAC Takes A Big Leap in Asia IPO

Anheuser-Busch InBev Asia made its debut on the Hong Kong stock market this week , making a bit of a jump on its very first day.  On Monday, Budweiser APAC stock closed 4.4 percent up, at 28.2 HK dollars (that is equivalent to about $3.6 USD), to make it the second biggest public offering this year.  The biggest, of course, was Uber’s $8.1 billion IPO, back in May. 

This week, the maker of Budweiser beers—as well as Beck’s and Stella Artois—opened at 27.4 Hong Kong dollars ($3.50 USD) per share. This was a 1.5 percent premium on its 27 Hong Kong dollar ($3.44 USD) per share IPO, before making its notable climb. 

On that note, the Hong Kong premier of the AB-InBev stock raised approximately $5 billion, which the company says it will use—in whole—to pay down its existing debt. Indeed, Budweiser Brewing APAC chief executive officer Jhan Craps commented, “We think we can do a lot of partnerships in Asia…even if we’re the largest brewer in Asia today.  We’ve seen very solid demand for our stock. We are confident there’s a strong foundation here.”

He adds that the biggest markets in Asia, today, are China, South Korea, India, and Vietnam.

It might be worth noting that the beer maker’s public debut on the Asian market comes at quite an opportune time.  Other—highly anticipated—IPOs have not done quite so well on their first day. Major brands like Peloton (PTON), SmileDirectClub (SDC), and even Uber (UBER) all saw massive drops in value on their first day.  These three popular stocks dropped 7 percent, 11 percent, and 27.5 percent, from their IPO price, respectively, on their first day of trading. 

So the impressive Budweiser APAC IPO premier on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is a big win for the brewer.  Political crisis in the city—not to mention the ongoing trade war between the US and China—have taken its toll on the exchange.  As a matter of fact, Budweiser Brewing had originally planned to strongarm the Hong Kong exchange, entering the market as a $64 billion company.  However, weak demand for the product put the deal on hold back in July.  This high-profile setback brought with it new skepticism over the profitability of such well-known brands, as mentioned above.