Heineken makes $4.1 bn bid for Singapore brewer

Dutch beer group Heineken on Friday announced a Sg$5.1 billion ($4.1 billion) bid for Singapore's Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) to boost its presence in the region's booming alcohol market.

Heineken said it had offered to pay Sg$50 a share for APB parent Fraser & Neave's (F&N) entire stake in the brewer, a premium of Sg$8 over its Thursday closing price.

Analysts said the move could trigger a takeover battle with Thai and Japanese investors for control of APB, which makes Tiger beer and other brands that are popular across Asia, including the Chinese market.

F&N said in a statement it was considering the Heineken offer "which remains open for acceptance" until July 27.

"There is no certainty that any transaction or agreement will be entered into as at the time of this announcement," it added.

Trading of shares in APB and F&N was halted at the Singapore Exchange on Friday after Heineken made its bid public.

Heineken and F&N have been longtime partners in Asia.

Heineken currently owns 41.9 percent of APB, one of Southeast Asia's biggest brewers, while F&N holds 40 percent.

Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings owns 14.7 percent of F&N.

"Heineken's offer is in line with the company's strategy to expand its presence in emerging markets," the Dutch brewer it said in a statement issued from Amsterdam.

Heineken said a takeover 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 bid came after Kindest Place, a company owned by a son-in-law of Thai drinks tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, offered to buy an 8.6 percent stake in APB for Sg$45 a share, Dow Jones Newswires said.

Charoen's own firm, Thai Beverage Ltd, which makes Chang beer, has also offered to buy a combined 22 percent stake in F&N for Sg$2.78 billion from Singapore's OCBC Bank and partners.

"We suspect the Heineken move is in response to the Thai offer," said a Singapore-based analyst who asked not to be named because of his company's association with one of the parties.

"It's all about the Asian growth story. The beer business is very lucrative in the region."

Justin Harper, market strategist with IG Markets Singapore, said he expects a "three-way battle" involving Heineken, the Thai tycoon and Kirin Holdings.

"Kirin will be watching developments very closely as APB is a prized asset in the sweet spot for the growth of beer consumption in Asia," Harper told AFP.

"While Kirin has so far denied any fresh bid, one can't rule this out once the dust settles on the surprise counter bid from Heineken," he said.

Heineken has seen demand slow in more mature markets like Western Europe and already earns about half of its profits from emerging markets, he said.

Dow Jones Newswires quoted a Kirin spokesman as saying: "We don't know how things will play out from here, but we're anticipating various scenarios and closely watching the situation."

Thai Beverage senior vice president Vichate Tantiwanich said Heineken's offer for APB does not affect its investment in F&N, according to Dow Jones.

Heineken said it was "keen to agree a deal with F&N" but gave notice that if Heineken is "denied the ability to extend its offer to all APB shareholders it will review all options available to protect its commercial interests".

"We really value our partnership with F&N which goes back over 80 years but, due to changes in the F&N and APB shareholding, the fabric of the partnership has changed," Heineken chairman and chief executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said in the statement.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific
    First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific

    China's air force has carried out its first ever military drill over the western Pacific Ocean, state media said, highlighting Beijing's growing military reach. Several aircraft from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday flew over the ocean via the Bashi Channel, which runs between Taiwan and the Philippines, the official Xinhua news agency said. "This is the first time that the PLA Air Force conducted such drills in an airspace far offshore from Chinese coastlines," Xinhua cited …

  • Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow
    Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow

    The Metro Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will have shorter hours tomorrow for the replacement of defective railroad tracks during the Holy Week. …

  • Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers
    Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers

    President Aquino has signed a joint congressional resolution raising the daily subsistence allowance for both members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino signed last March 27 the merged Joint Resolution 2 of the Senate and Joint Resolution 26 of the House of Representatives. Speaking to reporters, Lacierda yesterday said the daily allowances of police officers and soldiers were raised from P90 …

  • Oil firms raise gas prices today
    Oil firms raise gas prices today

    This year’s Holy Week break will be accompanied by an increase in local pump prices after oil companies announced yesterday a P1.10 per liter hike for gasoline and P0.60 per liter for diesel effective today. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will increase the prices of gasoline by P1.10 per liter and diesel by P0.60 per liter effective 6 a.m. of March 31, 2015 to reflect the movements in the prices of refined petroleum products in the international market,” said Phoenix Petroleum, an independent …

  • DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah
    DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah

    The Philippines has never offered to drop its Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia’s support for Manila’s arbitration case against China over the West Philippine Sea issue, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday. “In the context of our friendly bilateral relations, our two countries have been for years exchanging ways on how to address the issue of the extended continental shelf (ECS) in the South China Sea,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in explaining the DFA’s …

  • Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury
    Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury

    The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has remitted P5 billion in cash dividends to the National Treasury, fully settling all its arrears incurred in the last several years. Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. said with this year’s remittance, the state-owned gaming firm has fully settled all remaining arrears in cash dividends that were incurred by the previous administration since 2005. Pagcor’s cash dividends to the National Treasury under its …

  • Maysak moves closer to Phl
    Maysak moves closer to Phl

    The typhoon with international name Maysak slightly accelerated as it moved closer to the Philippines yesterday, threatening to dump rains over eastern Luzon this weekend, the state weather bureau said. Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said Maysak was spotted at 2,175 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 1 p.m. yesterday. Paciente said based on their latest forecast, Maysak is likely to affect …

  • Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany
    Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany

    The Philippines is getting 41 million euros or around P2 billion from the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of Germany that will fund 10 bilateral projects to address the impact of climate change. Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chairman Lucille Sering yesterday met with Norbert Gorissen – head of the International Climate Finance of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety – to discuss the projects, some of which will be …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options