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Budweiser-owner AB InBev slides after trading suspension as Altria sells stake

Anheuser-Busch InBev Budweiser and Bud Light brand beer cans at a store in Queens borough of New York, US, on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024.

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Shares of AB InBev, the world’s biggest brewer, slipped more than 4% Thursday as trading resumed following a brief suspension amid emerging details of a sale by one of its major stakeholders.

Trading was suspended Thursday morning at the request of Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) after U.S. tobacco giant Altria said Wednesday that it would cut its approximately 10% stake in the Belgian brewer.

Altria said that it planned to sell 35 million of its 197 million shares in the company, representing around one-fifth of its total holding.

Trading of AB InBev resumed at 2 p.m. local time after details were released on the pricing of the share sale.

In a statement, the brewer said that Altria’s underwriters would pay 54.7 euros ($60) per share — around 6.5% less than Wednesday’s closing price of 58.82 euros per share. AB InBev said it plans to buy back $200 million worth of shares.

Shares were down 4.4% shortly after the resumption of trade.

The sale will see Altria’s holding in the company reduced to around 8%.

Altria said it planned to use the proceeds from the sale to fund additional share buybacks of its own stock.

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