ThaiBev denies it will sell stake in Sabeco
Thailand’s Thai Beverage Public Co Ltd has denied it is seeking potential investors to buy its business in Viet Nam.
A Sabeco beer factory in Dak Lak Province's Buon Me Thuot City. — Photo biasaigonmt.com
Articles published by the international press and local news media in Viet Nam have in recent weeks claimed the Thai beverage firm, known as ThaiBev, is seeking a buyer for its Vietnamese business.
ThaiBev president Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi planned to launch an IPO for the company’s beer division on SGX for around US$12 billion, international press reported in late November.
The listing of the group’s beer division sparked speculations on the market that ThaiBev was seeking ways to exit from the Vietnamese firm Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Sabeco).
But the claims “are false and without merit,” the company confirmed in an announcement sent to the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX) on Wednesday.
ThaiBev, through its subsidiary Vietnam Beverage Co Ltd, “is confident in its business in Viet Nam and remains strongly committed to making Sabeco and Bia Saigon the pride of Viet Nam,” the company said.
“Viet Nam continues to be one of ThaiBev’s core markets and is integral to its goal of becoming a stable and sustainable leader in Southeast Asia’s beverage industry.”
The company also emphasised that the listing of its beer business “is still at an early stage and there is no certainty or assurance that any such transaction will occur.”
ThaiBev will make further appropriate announcements to provide material developments that warrant disclosure in accordance with relevant Thai and Singaporean regulations, it said.
The company also warned shareholders and investors to “exercise caution and seek appropriate professional advice” before dealing in the company shares and securities, and “refrain from taking any action in respect of their investments which may be prejudicial to their interests.”
ThaiBev in December 2017 purchased nearly 54 per cent of capital in Sabeco from Viet Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) for approximately $5 billion.
After the deal, MoIT holds nearly 36 per cent at the largest local brewer by market value.
In the first nine months of 2019, Sabeco posted VND28.3 trillion ($1.22 billion) in combined revenue and VND4.28 trillion in combined post-tax profit.
The earnings figures were up 10.5 per cent and 23 per cent on-year, respectively. After nine months, Sabeco fulfilled 73 per cent and 91 per cent of its full-year earnings targets, respectively.
Sabeco shares (HoSE: SAB) ended Thursday flat at VND233,000 ($10.06) per share. — VNS
Budweiser APAC has eyes on Sabeco, while ThaiBev intends to quit one of the biggest beer markets of the region.