By Lauren Hirsch and Christine Murray
Jose Cuervo, the world's biggest tequila producer, has put its initial public offering on hold following the U.S. presidential election of Donald Trump, which has weighed on Mexican stocks and currency, according to people familiar with the matter on Wednesday.The valuation of many Mexican companies has been hit by Trump's surprise victory on Nov. 8, fueled by concern about the U.S. president-elect's campaign promises to renegotiate or scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement.Jose Cuervo, known officially as Becle, had filed with the Mexican bourse in September for an IPO that sources had said could raise as much as $1 billion. It is not clear how long the delay will be, but one of the sources noted that if the IPO were to take place after February, the company would need to update its prospectus for investors with new earning figures, potentially causing more delays.Jose Cuervo will reassess its IPO plans in January, when the impact of Trump's upcoming presidency may be easier to evaluate, according to the sources.
The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Cristobal Mariscal, general counsel and corporate affairs director for Jose Cuervo, declined to comment. Jose Cuervo had been waiting for the U.S. presidential election to launch its IPO, hoping volatility on the Mexican Stock Exchange would subside. Instead, the market became more choppy. The Mexico IPC stock index .MXX has lost more than 7 percent of its value since the U.S. election. "A big part of the uncertainty that is reflected in economic variables has to do with the great uncertainty about the economic policies that will be taken by the new administration in the United States," Mexican Central Bank Deputy Governor Manuel Sanchez said in an interview with Reuters this week about the future of the Mexican central policy.
In its IPO filing with regulators, Jose Cuervo warned the U.S. election could lead to renegotiation of trade deals, which could have a serious impact on its business. Started by Jose Antonio de Cuervo in the late 1700s before Mexican independence from Spain, Jose Cuervo says it is North America's oldest continuous producer of spirits.
With origins in the picturesque town of Tequila in Jalisco state, the business is now controlled by the Beckmann family, which plans to remain the majority shareholder after the IPO.The company has said proceeds from the IPO will be used to fund growth, as well as broaden its portfolio. (Reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York and Christine Murray in Mexico City; Additional reporting by Alexandra Alper in Mexico City; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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