Anheuser-Busch InBev’s breakup is giving an unexpectedly bitter aftertaste. The Belgian brewer’s recently parted Asia Pacific business expects the coronavirus to lop $170 million off normalized EBITDA from China last month. There’s a price to pay for company sprawl; however, a narrower focus brings its own threats.
The beer giant led by Carlos Brito listed Budweiser Brewing Firm APAC in Hong Kong in September at HK$27 per share, giving it a business value of $45 billion.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there had been lingering concerns in regards to the potential growth from selling Stella Artois and Corona as upmarket brands to Asia’s rising middle class.
Middling full-year outcomes released Thursday won’t come in aid. Budweiser Brewing’s income increased 1.8% from the past two years, pressured by lower sales in bars and clubs in China and competitive pressure in South Korea.
Containment plans on the mainland have prevented people from going out to their regular restaurants. Budweiser itself is also the biggest vendor in Hubei, where the epidemic started, with 40% of the market, based on Jefferies analysts. Although different factories are lastly reopening, one in Wuhan, Hubei’s capital, stays closed.
The lost EBITDA, assuming it isn’t recaptured later in the year in a post-curbing recovery, equates to about $3.1 billion of enterprise value, based on the roughly 18 times multiple for 2020 at which it trades.
That’s before factoring in the impact on Japan, S Korea and Southeast Asia, where COVID-19 is inflicting problems, too.