Interbrew may go public

IPO funds might be used for growth by acquisition

Dec 12, 1999 - The London Telegraph reports that Interbrew, the family-owned Belgian brewing company, is considering going public.


The company has held talks with a number of investment banks in London -- including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Merrill Lynch -- to discuss an initial public offering. It is considering a limited issue of shares to the public to raise about $1bn in cash to help fund its strategy of growth by acquisition. The IPO would value the business at $8bn to $10bn.

There is already speculation about which brewing companies Interbrew would target for acquisition, with Carlsberg, South African Breweries and Bass all being mentioned.

Interbrew may be considering not only a listing on the London Stock Exchange but also in New York. It has a large North American presence since it bought Labatt 1995.

The de Spoelberch, Van Damme and de Mevius families who control Interbrew can trace the company's roots back to 1366 when the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven changed its name to Artois. Demand for Interbrew shares would be high, because it is one of the best performing beer companies in the world. Last year it increased net profits 43.7%.

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