AB InBev files for Hong Kong IPO of Asia beer unit
Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (ABI.BT) is planning to tap the Hong Kong market again to list its Asian beer business after calling off its nearly $10 billion initial public offering two months ago.
Budweiser Brewing Co. APAC Ltd. which will be the listed entity on the Hong Kong bourse if the IPO is successful said Thursday that there is no assurance that the company will proceed with the offering.
The draft prospectus filed Thursday didn’t detail the size of the offering or the timing of the IPO.
J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are advising the company on the IPO.
Budweiser Brewing, which sells beers such as Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and Hoegaarden, had in July cited market conditions for calling off the Hong Kong IPO, which, if successful, would have been the year’s biggest IPO.
People familiar with the IPO plans had said in July that several prospective investors found the deal expensive and valuations high.
Since calling off the deal, the parent AB InBev, the world’s biggest brewer, has been looking to sell some of its assets. In July, the company agreed to sell its Australian unit to Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. for $11.3 billion.
AB InBev, which makes one out of every four beers sold world-wide, owns hundreds of brands in dozens of countries after a global buying spree that gave it Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona. But those deals saddled the Belgian brewer with about $100 billion in debt; meanwhile, beer sales have slowed in the U.S. and other major markets.
Write to P.R. Venkat at [email protected]
European Economics Preview: Germany Factory Orders Data Due
Factory orders from Germany and quarterly national accounts from Switzerland are due on Thursday, headlining a light day for the European economic news.
At 1.45 am ET, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is set to release Swiss GDP data. The economy is forecast to grow 0.2 percent sequentially in the second quarter after expanding 0.6 percent in the first quarter.
At 2.00 am ET, Destatis is scheduled to publish Germany’s factory orders data for July. Orders are forecast to shrink 1.5 percent on month, in contrast to June’s 2.5 percent increase.
At 3.00 am ET, retail sales data is due from the Czech Republic. Economists expect sales to climb 5.9 percent on year in July, following a 0.2 percent rise in June.
Half an hour later, Sweden’s central bank is set to announce its rate decision. The bank is forecast to leave its key rate unchanged at -0.25 percent.
In the meantime, IHS Markit is scheduled to issue Germany’s construction PMI data for August.
At 5.00 am ET, Greece unemployment data is due for June.
‘Gig’ workers may live California dream
The “gig economy” is on shaky ground in its own home state of California.
Legislators there passed a landmark law on Wednesday that could force Uber, Lyft and other “gig economy” companies to classify their workers as employees rather than contractors.
The law, which is being vehemently opposed by big tech companies, would affect more than 1 million “gig” workers in the state, and require the companies to give sick days to its drivers and pay them a minimum wage and workers’ compensation.
The bill passed both state legislative houses this week, and will be sent to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom, who said he would sign it.
Shares of the companies rose Wednesday, however, after Newsom told The Wall Street Journal he would continue to negotiate with companies affected by the measure, known as Assembly Bill 5.
Uber’s Chief Legal Officer, Tony West, said the ride-sharing giant won’t automatically reclassify the contractors as employees when the law goes into effect in January because drivers aren’t part of its core business.
“In fact, several previous rulings have found that drivers’ work is outside the usual course of Uber’s business, which is serving as a technology platform for several different types of digital marketplaces,” West said in a blog post.
Lyft and Uber — as well as other “gig” outfits like DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart — are pushing to bring the state law to the ballot box next year in an effort to have it repealed or changed.
‘The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon’ Brings Jennifer Lopez Along For Music Vid Dance History Lesson
Since the birth of the art form known as the music video, there has always had an element to them that was just as important as the tune: the dancing.
So it was only natural that Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon brought out one of music video’s all-time great dancers to help him re-live some of the greatest moves in music video history in his segment, “The History of Video Music Dancing.”
Jennifer Lopez (who, coincidentally, has a new film coming out) joined Fallon as they whipped, Nae Naed and Hammer Timed their way through iconic dance moves on such pop hits as U Can’t Touch This, Walk Like An Egyptian, The Macarena, and Oops…I Did It Again, all backed by some orchestrated music excerpts. Their efforts drew roaring approval from the audience.
Watch the video for poetry in motion.
MSNBC Anchor Katy Tur Returns From Maternity Leave, Calls On Congress For More Family Time Off
Returning today from the April birth of her son, she called on lawmakers and presidential daughter Ivanka Trump to work harder to expand the right to equal paid time off for both parents.
“Parents need time with their babies. Babies need time with their parents. And moms need support, and if that support is coming from a partner, that partner should get equal time off, paid time off, emphasis on paid,” Tur said during her afternoon MSNBC news program. “Family leave supports babies, which supports us all.”
“The people who work around here, who work in that building on the Hill behind me, talk about figuring it out,” she added. “But for some reason, it still hasn’t gotten done. Hasn’t even gotten a vote. And that is shameful.”