April 1, 2023

DealBook: Thai Billionaire Makes $7.3 Billion Offer for Fraser & Neave

Heineken and Thai Beverage are both attempting to buy Fraser  Neave's beer unit, whose brands include Tiger Beer.Wong Maye-E/Associated PressHeineken and Thai Beverage are both attempting to buy Fraser Neave’s beer unit, whose brands include Tiger Beer.

The Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi initiated a $7.3 billion takeover bid on Thursday for the 70 percent stake in the Singaporean conglomerate Fraser Neave that he did not already own.

The all-cash offer, which represents a 4.3 percent premium to Fraser Neave’s closing stock price on Wednesday, could scuttle plans by the Dutch brewer Heineken to buy Fraser Neave’s beer unit, whose brands include Tiger Beer.

Heineken and Thai Beverage, which is controlled by Mr. Charoen, have been battling for control of Asia Pacific Breweries, the beer business jointly owned Heineken and Fraser Neave. Last month, Heineken moved a step closer to gaining control of Asia Pacific Breweries after it raised its offer to $4.3 billion to buy Fraser Neave’s interest in Asia Pacific.

Fraser Neave has recommended the offer to its shareholders, who are to vote on the deal at the end of the month.

By starting a multibillion-dollar takeover bid for Fraser Neave, Mr. Charoen may be able to overturn the deal with Heineken. Mr. Charoen already holds a 30 percent stake in Fraser Neave through Thai Beverage and TCC Assets, an investment vehicle he controls.

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, the chairman of Thai Beverage.Tim Chong/ReutersCharoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, the chairman of Thai Beverage.

Through TCC Assets, Mr. Charoen offered 8.88 Singapore dollars ($7.22) on Thursday for each share in Fraser Neave, which also operates a large global real estate portfolio. The deal values the company at $10.2 billion. The offer is supported by loans from two Singaporean banks and Morgan Stanley.

“We believe the offer represents an opportunity for F.N. shareholders to realize the value of their investment in cash and to make a complete exit,” Mr. Charoen said in a statement.

For months, Mr. Charoen has been positioning himself to decide the future of Asia Pacific Breweries. In August, Thai Beverage, which is owned by Mr. Charoen, increased its stake to 26.2 percent, making it the company’s largest shareholder and allowing Mr. Charoen to dictate whether Fraser Neave shareholders would support Heineken’s takeover. Thai Beverage has subsequently increased its holding to 29 percent.

Kindest Place, a separate company controlled by the son-in-law of Mr. Charoen, also bought an 8.6 percent stake in Asia Pacific. The Japanese brewer Kirin is the second-largest shareholder in Fraser Neave, with a 15 percent stake. Heineken said it would review the $7.3 billion offer for Fraser Neave. A spokesman declined to comment on whether the Dutch brewer would increase its offer.

Shares in Fraser Neave closed up 4.8 percent in trading in Singapore, while stock in Heineken fell less than 1 percent in Amsterdam.

The battle for Asia Pacific Breweries comes as many of the world’s beer companies are turning to emerging markets in search of growth. With fast-expanding middle classes and economic growth running counter to the global slowdown, developing countries offer new sources of revenue compared with Western countries, which continue to struggle from the European debt crisis and volatility in the financial markets.

This year, Anheuser-Busch InBev, whose brands include Budweiser and Stella Artois, agreed to pay $20.1 billion for the half of the Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo that it did not already own.

And SABMiller bought the Foster’s Group, the biggest beer company in Australia, for $10.2 billion last year. With the acquisition, SABMiller gained exposure to a developed market that offered high profit margins but lacked the growth seen in emerging markets.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/thai-billionaire-in-7-3-billion-bid-for-fraser-neave/?partner=rss&emc=rss

DealBook: Heineken Offers $4.1 Billion for Asia Pacific Breweries Stake

HONG KONG–Heineken on Friday offered to pay more than $4 billion for a stake in Asia Pacific Breweries, one the region’s biggest brewers, trumping an offer made by a Thai rival earlier this week and highlighting the industry’s intense appetite for assets in fast-growing emerging markets.

The Dutch brewing giant offered $50 Singapore dollars, or $39.84, per share, for a 40 percent stake held by Fraser and Neave, a Singapore-listed conglomerate and longstanding partner of Heineken in the region.

The $5.1 billion Singapore dollar, or $4.1 billion, acquisition would considerably beef up Heineken’s existing 42 percent holding in Asia Pacific Breweries.

If successful, the bid would also trigger a requirement that Heineken makes a mandatory buyout offer to remaining shareholders of the Asian brewer. That would add as much as 2.4 billion Singapore dollars to the overall price tag, and underlines how eager Amsterdam-based Heineken is to expand in emerging markets.

Listed in Singapore, A.P.B. operates 30 breweries across Asia, including in far-flung counties such as Mongolia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Its brand portfolio boasts Tiger Beer and Bintang lager, some of the best known beers in the regional markets where they are sold.

‘‘If agreed, the offer will strengthen Heineken’s platform for growth in some of the world’s most exciting and dynamic economies with fast-growing populations,’’ Heineken said in a statement on Friday.

The Dutch company said a successful deal would give it ‘‘direct access to a number of important markets, including Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.’’

Heineken’s move to buy out A.P.B.’s remaining shareholders appears to have been triggered by an offer earlier this week by a Thai rival that was targeting stakes in A.P.B. and Fraser and Neave.

Thai Beverage, controlled by the Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, offered to buy 22 percent in Fraser and Neave for 2.78 billion Singapore dollars. At the same time a company called Kindest Place, reportedly controlled by a relative of Mr. Sirivadhanabhakdi, bid for stake of about 8 percent in A.P.B. That latter offer, of 45 Singapore dollars a share, is well below the 50 dollars that Heineken has put on the table, and it is unclear whether either of the Thai bidders will come back with a counteroffer.

Slowing growth in mature markets, rising costs and the growing popularity of low-carbohydrate beers and other drinks have put pressure on the world’s major brewers to consolidate, and prompted a spate of mergers and acquisitions across the sector over the past few years.

Among the most recent deals, Anheuser-Busch InBev, whose beer brands include Budweiser and Stella Artois, agreed last month to buy the half of the Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo that it does not already own for $20.1 billion.

Anheuser-Busch InBev itself was formed in 2008 when the Belgian-Brazilian brewing company InBev acquired Anheuser-Busch of the United States for around $52 billion.

SABMiller, a rival that was likewise forged via a merger of two brewing giants in 2002, last year agreed to a $10.15 billion takeover of Foster’s Group, the biggest beer company in Australia.

Heineken’s growth in recent years has also been boosted by a number of acquisitions, including the purchase of Femsa’s brewing operations in Mexico and Brazil two years ago for more than $5 billion, a partnership with United Breweries in India, and acquisitions and capacity investments in Africa.

Heineken is being advised by Credit Suisse and Citigroup.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/heineken-offers-4-1-billion-for-asia-pacific-breweries-stake/?partner=rss&emc=rss