Heineken bids $4.1 billion to tighten grip on Asian brewer
by The Canadian Press
The $4.1 billion offer would give Heineken an 82 per cent stake
SINGAPORE—Heineken is offering $4.1 billion to buy out its partner in the Singapore-based maker of Tiger beer, attempting to neutralize a Thai tycoon’s competing bid for influence over the brand as the Dutch brewer expands in emerging markets.
Fraser & Neave Ltd., which shares ownership of the Tiger beer brewer Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd. with Heineken, has been offered 50 Singapore dollars ($40) a share for F&N’s nearly 40 per cent stake.
The $4.1 billion offer would give Heineken an 82 per cent stake in APB. If the offer is accepted, Heineken would spend a further $1.92 billion to buy out the minority shareholders in APB.
The Dutch brewer’s move comes after Thai Beverage, controlled by tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanaphakdi, entered into agreements with three shareholders to take a 22 per cent stake in Fraser & Neave for $2.25 billion.
In recent year, Heineken has bought brewers in Mexico and Brazil, expanded in India through a partnership with United Breweries and increased its presence in Africa.
“It is time for us to look ahead to the next chapter of our Asian business,'” said Heineken’s CEO Jean-Francois van Boxmeer.
“Both the Heineken and Tiger brand will spearhead our brand portfolio in Asia,'” he said.
Heineken currently has a 41.9 per cent stake in APB through a direct 9.5 per cent shareholding and an indirect shareholding of 32.4 per cent that is held through a joint venture with Fraser & Neave.
The Singapore food and beverage conglomerate, which has been in business with Heineken for the past 80 years, owns 39.7 per cent of APB via the joint venture and a 7.3 per cent direct stake.