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Beer war

Heineken still in discussion with F&N for APB stake

Heineken is convinced that its bid for Asia Pacific Breweries is more attractive than that of Kindest Place Groups, a unit of Thailand's liquor tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's empire. "The unsolicited offer is not comparable to the Heineken Offer," Heineken said in a statement released today. It said Heineken offered totally S$7.7 billion for all shares in APB, owned by Fraser & Neave and other shareholders. Meanwhile, Kindest Place Groups offered only S$1 billion for 7.3 per cent of APB. "The total consideration to F&N under the Unsolicited Offer would be S$1 billion. Heineken continues to believe that the Heineken offer represents compelling value for F&N's and APB's shareholders. Heineken continues its discussions with F&N in relation to the Heineken offer accepted by the board of F&N on August 3," Heineken said.Thailand's liquor tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's business unit, Kindest Place Groups, has submitted an unsolicited bid for a stake in Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), apparently to ward off Heineken.



The Nation

Despite Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s new offer for Fraser and Neave (F&N)’s stake in Asia Pacific Breweries, Heineken still believes that its bid for F&N is uncomparable.

Heineken is convinced that its bid for Asia Pacific Breweries is more attractive than that of Kindest Place Groups, a unit of Thailand’s liquor tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s empire.



"The unsolicited offer is not comparable to the Heineken Offer," Heineken said in a statement released today.

It said Heineken offered totally S$7.7 billion for all shares in APB, owned by Fraser & Neave and other shareholders. Meanwhile, Kindest Place Groups offered only S$1 billion for 7.3 per cent of APB.



"The total consideration to F&N under the Unsolicited Offer would be S$1 billion. Heineken continues to believe that the Heineken offer represents compelling value for F&N’s and APB’s shareholders. Heineken continues its discussions with F&N in relation to the Heineken offer accepted by the board of F&N on August 3," Heineken said.



Thailand's liquor tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's business unit, Kindest Place Groups, has submitted an unsolicited bid for a stake in (APB), apparently to ward off Heineken.

According to a statement released on the evening of August 7, Fraser and Neave (F&N) received the bid for 18.8 million shares it owns in APB, or 7.3 per cent. Kindest Place Groups, owned by Charoen's soninlaw Chotiphat Bijananda, offered a 55 Singapore dollar price for the shares, 10 per cent higher than Heineken's $50 offer.

F&N’s board of directors last week recommended Heineken NV;s offer of S$50 a share for its 40 percent stake in APB to shareholders. Heineken said in a statement earlier that the $50 price offers a 10per cent premium.

"This is all about forcing Heineken to increase its offer," Jonathan Foster, Singaporebased director of Global Special Situations at Religare, told Bloomberg. "It's a very aggressive strategy. I can't see how this will go wrong for them. It was quite a clever ploy from the family."

Kindest Place Groups already owns an 8.6 cent stake in Asia Pacific Breweries, while Thai Beverage Plc, the flagship business of Charoen's empire, owns a 24.1 per cent stake in F&N.

Last month, ThaiBev's purchase of F&N's stake drew international attention, as F&N has been partners with Heineken in the beer business for more than 80 years.

Kirin Holdings, which also owns a 15 per cent stake in F&N, is reportedly interested in bidding for APB. Meanwhile, as Heineken and ThaiBev fight for APB, there is an expectation that F&N might later sell other businesses. CocaCola reportedly wants a bite of F&N's nonalcoholic beverage business. No bids have been announced yet.




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