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AB InBev launches $15.5B bond offering

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA launched Jan. 10 six U.S. dollar-denominated, senior unsecured bonds, with $15.5 billion in aggregate principal, as it upsized an offering to repurchase $16.5 billion in aggregate principal of 12 notes from $11 billion.

The upsized $16.5 billion buyback offer, issued by AB InBev's wholly owned subsidiaries, consists of notes with maturities from 2021 to 2024 and 2026. AB InBev's offer is set to expire 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 7, and noteholders need to tender their notes prior to or at 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 24 to be eligible for receiving the total consideration, which includes an early tender payment in cash.

Barclays Capital Inc., BofA Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank Securities are the dealer managers, while Global Bondholders Services Corp. is the tender and information agent for the tender offers.

The Belgian brewer's unit, Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide Inc., is issuing $15.5 billion of bonds with maturities from 2025 to 2059, which will be issued by its unit Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide Inc.

The bonds include 4.150% notes due Jan. 23, 2025; 4.750% notes due Jan. 23, 2029; 4.900% notes due Jan. 23, 2031; 5.450% notes due Jan. 23, 2039; 5.550% notes due Jan. 23, 2049; and 5.800% notes due Jan. 23, 2059. The offering is expected to close Jan. 23.

AB InBev said the net proceeds of the offering will be used for general corporate purposes, including the repayment of upcoming debt maturities in 2021 to 2024 and 2026, and for funding its previously announced tender offers.

The bond sale comes after Moody's downgraded AB InBev's senior unsecured ratings Dec. 10, 2018, with the rating agency expecting the brewer's progress in lowering its over $100 billion debt to still be slow.