Anheuser-Busch InBev NV will start selling bonds Wednesday backing its takeover of SABMiller Plc in what’s expected to be the first part of the biggest global bond deal ever.
The U.S.-dollar portion of the deal from the world’s biggest brewer may be around $25 billion, according to a person familiar with the transaction, who asked not to be identified citing lack of authorization to speak about it publicly. That would make it the second-largest corporate sale in the greenback after Verizon Communications Inc.’s $49 billion deal two years ago to fund its buyout of Vodafone Group Plc’s stake in a wireless venture.
The brewer is raising money at an increasingly volatile time in credit markets, with the world’s biggest rating firm warning on Monday that the outlook for corporate-credit hasn’t been this bad since the financial crisis. Investment-grade bond buyers are demanding the largest yield premium over Treasuries in more than three years, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“I think this deal will be very well-received, and it will have an attractive spread to boot," said Joe Mayo, the head of credit research at Conning, a global insurance investment manager with about $92 billion under management. “When people are happy they drink beer, when people are sad they drink beer, and the company capitalizes on that.”
The company mandated Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc, and Deutsche Bank AG to arrange calls to gauge investor interest in bonds to help pay for the acquisition, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier.