ThaiBev bets big on Vietnam with $4.8b Sabeco stake

FILE PHOTO: Sabeco's Saigon beers are display for sale in a market in Hanoi, Vietnam April 17, 2017. REUTERS/Kham/File Photo

Thai Beverage Pcl is doubling down on Vietnam after it partnered with a local company to buy a $4.8 billion stake in the country’s largest brewer, a key step for the company controlled by billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi as it seeks to dominate Southeast Asia’s beverage market.

Vietnam Beverage, the local unit which ThaiBev holds a stake in, said it won the bidding for an almost 54 percent holding in Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp. ThaiBev emerged as the only major investor to bid in what had been billed as a hotly contested auction of Vietnam’s biggest asset sale on record. Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade sold the Sabeco stake for 320,000 dong ($14.09) a share, according to a statement to the stock exchange. That’s a 3.5 percent premium over Monday’s closing price.

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