AB InBev resumes exploring Budweiser listing two months after pulling out

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

(Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev ABI.BR said on Thursday it is continuing to explore an initial public offering in Hong Kong of its Asia Pacific unit, Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd 1876.HK, two months after saying it will not proceed with the planned listing.

The company’s Asia Pacific unit has resumed its application for the listing of a minority stake of its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, it said on Thursday, adding no assurance can be given on whether the transaction will be completed.

AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, was aiming to sell as much as $9.8 billion in Budweiser stock to seek relief from its heavy debt burden before pulling out of the planned listing in July.

The resumption of the listing plans come as a boost for the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after Reuters reported last month that China's biggest e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA.N had delayed its up to $15 billion listing in Hong Kong amid growing political unrest in the Asian financial hub.

The development comes after Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd 0388.HK unveiled a $39 billion takeover approach to the London Stock Exchange Plc LSE.L on Wednesday that received a cool response from investors concerned about its regulatory and financial hurdles.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese and Sandra Maler