Me­gabrewer boosts JSE

CityPress - - Busi­ness - FIN24 busi­ness@city­

Bel­gian brew­ing gi­ant An­heuser-Busch (AB) InBev listed on the JSE’s main board on Fri­day morn­ing with an open­ing price of R1 938 a share.

The R3 tril­lion list­ing comes after AB InBev’s ac­cepted takeover bid of brewer SABMiller. As part of the planned ac­qui­si­tion, AB InBev pledged to list the com­bined en­tity in South Africa.

AB InBev agreed to buy SABMiller for £68 bil­lion (R1.6 tril­lion) in Oc­to­ber with a £44 bil­lion of­fer. SABMiller’s share price on the JSE was pro­pelled from R610 in Au­gust to R976.45 by close of trade on Fri­day.

The sec­ondary in­ward list­ing con­sists of all of AB InBev’s is­sued or­di­nary shares to­talling 1 608 242 156.

AB InBev CEO Car­los Brito said the list­ing showed the com­pany’s com­mit­ment to South Africa and Africa, “which is cen­tral to the ra­tio­nale of the deal”, and was a vote of con­fi­dence in South Africa as an in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion.

“We were keen to [list on the JSE] as soon as pos­si­ble as part of our com­mit­ment to in­vest­ing in South Africa, and we ap­pre­ci­ate the sup­port we have re­ceived from the JSE, SA Reserve Bank and lo­cal in­vest­ment com­mu­nity to make this hap­pen.

“We look for­ward to wel­com­ing new share­hold­ers to AB InBev.”

JSE CEO Nicky New­ton-King said the fast-tracked list­ing, which took 21 days to com­plete, set the bar high for the ex­change, which seeks to at­tract ma­jor list­ings. AB InBev is one of the world’s largest con­sumer goods com­pa­nies.

The list­ing comes after US com­pe­ti­tion of­fi­cials started an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the planned takeover, seek­ing ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion re­lated to the deal.

AB InBev and SABMiller ex­pect to close the trans­ac­tion in the sec­ond half of this year, an anony­mous source told Bloomberg.

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