ThaiBev “wins” bid for Saigon Beer maker

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Thai Beverage, through its Vietnamese affiliate Vietnam Beverage, on December 18 won the right to buy around 54 per cent stake in Vietnam’s guel, for $4.84 billion, in what is so far the Vietnam government’s biggest divestment of a state-owned enterprise.

Notably, ThaiBev was the only left bidder for the auction after other multinational brewers Anheuser Busch InBev, Heineken, Carlsberg, Japanese beer companies Kirin and Ashai, Thailand’s second largest beer maker Singha Corporation and the Philippines’ San Miguel Group stepped back amid concerns about the high price and restrictive ownership limits, which obviously didn’t matter for ThaiBev.

The reason may be that Sabeco’s foreign ownership is capped at 49 per cent. With ten per cent already in foreign hands, that left only a 39-per cent maximum stake for overseas buyers. Local bidders such as ThaiBev’s indirectly-owned Vietnamese unit could bid for a majority stake of up to 54 per cent.

The government’s minimum price for the 54-per cent stake on offer valued Sabeco at about 36 times core earnings, more than double the trading multiples of around 15 for some global peers, Reuters noted.

Vietnam Beverage is wholly owned by F&B Alliance Vietnam, which, in turn, is 49-per cent owned by BeerCo Limited, an indirect but wholly-owned unit of Thai Beverage. BeerCo in November bought a 49-per cent stake in F&B Alliance Vietnam, apparently with the sole intent of bidding for Sabeco.

ThaiBev, the maker of Thailand’s iconic Chang beer, has long sought a major overseas acquisition to reinforce its brewing businesses. An aging population and increasing excise taxes have put a ceiling on Thailand’s alcoholic beverage market, and these factors are pushing ThaiBev to become a pan-Southeast Asia provider of beverages, particularly in Vietnam where the largest amount of beer is consumed throughout the region.

ThaiBev currently makes 30 per cent of its sales overseas but wants to raise the figure to 50 per cent by 2020.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thai Beverage, through its Vietnamese affiliate Vietnam Beverage, on December 18 won the right to buy around 54 per cent stake in Vietnam’s guel, for $4.84 billion, in what is so far the Vietnam government’s biggest divestment of a state-owned enterprise.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thai Beverage, through its Vietnamese affiliate Vietnam Beverage, on December 18 won the right to buy around 54 per cent stake in Vietnam’s guel, for $4.84 billion, in what is so far the Vietnam government’s biggest divestment of a state-owned enterprise.

Notably, ThaiBev was the only left bidder for the auction after other multinational brewers Anheuser Busch InBev, Heineken, Carlsberg, Japanese beer companies Kirin and Ashai, Thailand’s second largest beer maker Singha Corporation and the Philippines’ San Miguel Group stepped back amid concerns about the high price and restrictive ownership limits, which obviously didn’t matter for ThaiBev.

The reason may be that Sabeco’s foreign ownership is capped at 49 per cent. With ten per cent already in foreign hands, that left only a 39-per cent maximum stake for overseas buyers. Local bidders such as ThaiBev’s indirectly-owned Vietnamese unit could bid for a majority stake of up to 54 per cent.

The government’s minimum price for the 54-per cent stake on offer valued Sabeco at about 36 times core earnings, more than double the trading multiples of around 15 for some global peers, Reuters noted.

Vietnam Beverage is wholly owned by F&B Alliance Vietnam, which, in turn, is 49-per cent owned by BeerCo Limited, an indirect but wholly-owned unit of Thai Beverage. BeerCo in November bought a 49-per cent stake in F&B Alliance Vietnam, apparently with the sole intent of bidding for Sabeco.

ThaiBev, the maker of Thailand’s iconic Chang beer, has long sought a major overseas acquisition to reinforce its brewing businesses. An aging population and increasing excise taxes have put a ceiling on Thailand’s alcoholic beverage market, and these factors are pushing ThaiBev to become a pan-Southeast Asia provider of beverages, particularly in Vietnam where the largest amount of beer is consumed throughout the region.

ThaiBev currently makes 30 per cent of its sales overseas but wants to raise the figure to 50 per cent by 2020.

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