Megabrewer boosts JSE
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.