• May 20, 2024

Altria to Sell Part of its Anheuser-Busch Stake

 Altria to Sell Part of its Anheuser-Busch Stake
Photo: Rafael Henrique

Altria Group plans to sell a portion of its investment in Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) through a global secondary offering. In addition, ABI has agreed to repurchase $200 million of ordinary shares directly from Altria, concurrently with, and conditional on, completion of the offering.

Altria currently holds approximately 197 million shares of ABI, representing approximately 10 percent ownership. Altria, as the selling shareholder, is offering 35 million of ABI’s ordinary shares. In connection with the offering, Altria expects to grant the underwriters an option to purchase up to 5.25 million additional ABI shares owned by Altria, exercisable within 30 days following the pricing of the offering. In addition, Altria has agreed to a 180-day lockup with the lead underwriter for our remaining ABI shares.

“As good stewards of shareholder capital, we consistently review options to unlock the value of our ABI investment, and we believe this is an opportunistic transaction that realizes a portion of the substantial return on our long-term investment,” said Altria CEO Billy Gifford in a statement.

“Over the decades of our ownership, the beer investment has provided significant income and cash returns and supported our strong balance sheet. Our continued investment reflects ongoing confidence in ABI’s long-term strategies, premium global brands and experienced management team.”

Following its investment sale notice, Altria announced a $2.4 billion increase to its existing $1 billion share repurchase program. The expanded program is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2024.

Altria expects cash savings from the elimination of future dividend payments on the repurchased shares.

“These opportunistic capital allocation decisions reflect our ongoing confidence in Altria’s future and the significant value offered in our shares today,” said Gifford. “We have a longstanding history of returning cash to our shareholders, and today’s announcement reflects our continued desire to create long-term shareholder value.”