ThaiBev ups F&N stake to 26.2pc in fight for Tiger
UPDATED @ 11:21:47 PM 13-08-2012
SINGAPORE, Aug 13 – Singapore-listed Thai Beverage PCL raised its stake in Fraser and Neave to 26.2 per cent from 24.1 per cent to tighten its grip on the drinks and property conglomerate and intensify the fight with Heineken for Asia Pacific Breweries (APB).
ThaiBev, controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, has been raising its stake to become the biggest shareholder in F&N with an eye on the Singapore-based group’s most valuable asset, the Tiger beer group APB.
Charoen’s company confirmed in a statement to the Singapore stock exchange that it had acquired around 29.52 million F&N shares on Aug. 8 to bring its stake up to 26.2 per cent.
Charoen and his companies, including ThaiBev, are vying with Dutch brewer Heineken to cash in on APB’s exposure to fast-growing emerging beer markets in southeast Asia.
Heineken wants to take full control of the maker of Tiger beer, which is owned through a series of crossholdings by Heineken, F&N and others.
Last week F&N agreed to sell its 40 per cent stake in APB to the Amsterdam-based brewer, which has a 42 per cent stake, in a total deal including minority shareholders worth S$7.7 billion (RM19.35 billion).
There are questions over whether F&N’s two largest shareholders – ThaiBev and Japan’s Kirin Holdings Co Ltd – would support Heineken’s S$50 a share offer, which was agreed by F&N’s board but still needs shareholder approval.
In a further twist, an investment vehicle controlled by Charoen’s son-in-law, called Kindest Place, has offered to buy F&N’s direct 7.3 per cent stake in APB for S$55 a share which if successful would bring Kindest Place’s stake to nearly 16 per cent of APB.
F&N has said the offer for its 7.3 per cent stake in APB will lapse at 5pm Singapore time (0900 GMT) on Aug. 16.
Heineken had no comment on the ThaiBev move, and added that it continued to believe its bid for APB offered better value for all APB shareholders. – Reuters