July 18, 2019 / 5:03 PM / 5 months ago

AB InBev explores asset sale after dropping Asia IPO plan - WSJ

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Anheuser-Busch InBev is pictured inside the brewer's headquarters in Leuven, Belgium, Feb. 28, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

(Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR) is considering selling off business units in South Korea, Australia and Central America to cut its massive debt, after cancelling a planned listing of its Asia-Pacific unit, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The world’s largest brewer hopes to raise at least $10 billion (£8.02 billion) from asset sales, the WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Last week, AB InBev, which was aiming to sell as much as $9.8 billion in Budweiser stock to seek relief from its heavy debt burden, called off its listing of its Asia Pacific unit in Hong Kong citing “several factors, including prevailing market conditions.”

The company hopes to get its debt down to about $80 billion.

In May, private equity firm KKR & Co (KKR.N) approached AB InBev about buying some of its Asian assets, the Journal reported, adding that Japanese brewer Asahi Group Holdings Ltd had also expressed interest in buying the company’s Australia business.

AB InBev did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

U.S.-listed shares of the company rose 1.2% to $89.50 following the report.

Reporting by Soundarya J in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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