April 18, 2024

DealBook: Heineken Wins Asian Brewer for $4.6 Billion

HONG KONG–The Dutch brewer Heineken finally succeeded Friday in its $4.6 billion bid to acquire Asia Pacific Breweries, the Singapore-listed maker of Tiger beer, following a two-month battle with a Thai billionaire.

Shareholders of Fraser Neave, the Singaporean conglomerate that owns Asia Pacific Breweries, voted Friday to approve the sale of the brewing unit to Heineken for a sweetened price of 53 Singapore dollars, or $43.24, for each share of Asia Pacific Breweries the Dutch company did not already own. The total to be paid by Heineken is 5.6 billion Singapore dollars, or $4.6 billion, and the deal values Asia Pacific Breweries at around $11 billion.

Winning control of Asia Pacific Breweries will boost Heineken’s presence in key growth markets in developing Asia. The Singapore-listed brewer operates 30 breweries across Asia, including in far-flung counties like Mongolia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Its brand portfolio includes Tiger beer and Bintang lager, which enjoy their strongest positioning in lucrative Southeast Asian markets.

Approval from shareholders of Fraser Neave, which has businesses ranging from real estate to food and beverage, was seen as all but certain after Heineken last week struck an agreement securing backing for the sale of the brewing unit from the Thai billionaire, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, whose Thai Beverage owns 30 percent of Fraser Neave and who is currently bidding for full control of the Singapore conglomerate.

The Japanese brewer Kirin also owns a 15 percent stake in Fraser Neave, but has not stated whether it will sell to Mr. Charoen.

A separate vote on Friday shot down a proposal by Fraser Neave to pay out 4 billion Singapore dollars, or $3.3 billion, to its shareholders following the disposal of Asia Pacific Breweries to Heineken. The cash distribution, part of a capital reduction plan, had been opposed by Mr. Charoen.

Shareholders of Fraser Neave will still have to vote on whether to accept the offer from Mr. Charoen of 8.8 billion Singapore dollars, or $7.2 billion, for the 70 percent of the conglomerate he does not already control. Mr. Charoen’s TCC Assets has set a deadline of October 29 for shareholders to decide on his offer.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/heineken-wins-asian-brewer-for-4-6-billion/?partner=rss&emc=rss