Johannesburg - Belgian brewing giant Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev [JSE:ANB] on Friday morning listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange's (JSE) main board, with an opening price of R1938 a share.
The R3trn listing comes after AB InBev's accepted takeover bid of brewer SABMiller [JSE:SAB]. As part of the planned acquisition, AB InBev pledged to list the combined entity in South Africa.
AB InBev agreed to buy SABMiller for £68bn (now R1.62trn) in October with a £44 (now R1048) offer. SAB’s share price on the JSE propelled from R610 in August to R966.53 by Friday.
The secondary inward listing consists of all of AB InBev’s issued ordinary shares totaling 1 608 242 156.
AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito said the listing was a demonstration of the company's commitment to South Africa and Africa, "which is central to the rationale of the deal".
He said it also demonstrated the company's vote of confidence in South Africa as an investment destination.
'Delighted' to list on JSE
“We are delighted to be listing on the JSE today," he said. "We were keen to do so 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, South African 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 complete, sets the bar high for the bourse, 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, a person who remained anonymous, told Bloomberg.
Listing will advance AB InBev's ambitions in Africa - JSE
The JSE listing reflects well on South African financial markets and sends a positive message to potential issuers, both local and international, explained Donna Oosthuyse, JSE director of the JSE Capital Markets.
"From today, the Ordinary Shares of AB InBev will be tradable by South African local investors without using their foreign portfolio allowances," she said. "The listing provides investors with an attractive rand hedge, particularly in light of a weaker currency and an opportunity to invest and participate in, the future growth of AB InBev.”
"AB InBev’s decision to apply for a fast track listing helps to advance its ambitions in Africa and confirms its commitment to invest on the continent," she said. "Africa continues to be a key region for companies interested in expansion, given the continent’s rising GDP rates and growing middle class.”
AB InBev will be included in the beverages sector of the main board, which has a total market capital capitalisation of R11.28trn and constitutes 14.7% of the overall market cap of the exchange.
(From left to right) JSE chairperson Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita, AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito, JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King and Donna Oosthuyse, director of Capital Markets at JSE during the listing of AB InBev on Friday. (Photos: Supplied)
A general photo from the listing of AB InBev at the JSE on Friday.