ThaiBev hikes F&N stake in tussle with Heineken
SINGAPORE, Aug 28 — Thai Beverage has raised its stake in Fraser and Neave to just below the level that would trigger a mandatory offer for the whole company, showing its commitment to blocking Heineken’s bid for Asia Pacific Breweries.
ThaiBev, controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, said today it had bought a 2.6 per cent stake in Fraser and Neave for US$316 million (RM948 million) to bring its interest to 29 per cent. If it hit 30 per cent it would be obliged to bid for the whole of the Singapore conglomerate.
The stake increase is the latest move in a six-week battle pitting ThaiBev against Heineken. The world’s third-largest brewer was jolted into action when Charoen became the largest shareholder in F&N, with which Heineken has a joint venture controlling Tiger beer maker APB.
Heineken is seeking to convince Fraser and Neave shareholders to accept its S$7.94 billion offer to buy F&N out of the joint venture and to take F&N’s 7.3 per cent direct stake and APB shares held by others.
Those shareholders also include Japan’s Kirin Holdings, which holds just under 15 per cent of Fraser and Neave. — Reuters