ThaiBev, through its subsidiary BeerCo, has reached an agreement to acquire another 50 per cent in Vietnam F&B Alliance, the entity that currently owns nearly 54 per cent of Vietnamese brewery Sabeco.
BeerCo will purchase more than 34 million shares in Vietnam F&B for $14.72 million and increase its holding to 99 per cent, ThaiBev said in an announcement.
The shares will be sold by one of the existing shareholders of Vietnam F&B who is a third party unrelated to ThaiBev, it said.
The Thai beverage giant added that Vietnam F&B’s enterprise registration certificate for the new shareholding structure had been obtained on January 30.
In 2017, ThaiBev completed a nearly $5-billion acquisition of an indirect holding in state-owned Sabeco, also known as Saigon Beer. The Thai company established Vietnam F&B, a joint venture in which it had 49 per cent interest. Local regulation at that time barred overseas investors from owning more than 49 per cent of listed Vietnamese businesses.
In November 2018, after Vietnam allowed local businesses to fix the foreign ownership limit, Sabeco removed the limit on such ownership, paving the way for ThaiBev to up its stake.
Sabeco’s is one of the rare privatisation cases where Vietnam has allowed overseas investors to own a controlling interest. Upon closing the 99 per cent transaction in Vietnam F&B, the Vietnam Ministry of Trade and Industry will still be holding 36 per cent in Sabeco. It has plans to divest its entire stake within the next few years.