A Vietnamese affiliate of Thai Beverage has bought 53 per cent of Sabeco in today’s auction, together with a Vietnamese individual who owns another 0.003 per cent of Vietnam’s leading brewery.
The highly anticipated stake sale of Sabeco, commonly known as Saigon Beer, has taken place this afternoon with only two participating investors, both of whom went home with shares in their pockets.
The first winner is Vietnam Beverage Company Limited, a Vietnam-incorporated unit of Thai Beverage. The investor bought 343 million shares, or 53.58 per cent, at VND320,000 ($14.09) apiece. This means Vietnam Beverage spent VND109 trillion ($4.9 billion) for a controlling stake at Sabeco.
The second buyer in the auction is Ngo Vinh Hien, a Vietnamese individual from Hanoi. Hien owns 0.003 per cent of Sabeco, after spending VND6.4 billion ($281,600) for 20,000 shares.
Speaking to the media, Hien denied having any relationships with Thai Beverage. The investor said he joined in the sale of his own accord.
“I made a bid in this auction because it was difficult to buy Sabeco’s shares on the public market, and I believe in the growth potential of Vietnam’s largest beer firm,” said Hien.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the seller in this auction, told the media that Sabeco’s general meeting will decide the number of people that Thai Beverage can nominate to sit on its management board.
MoIT, who still has 36 per cent of the stakes at Sabeco after the sale, also refused to say whether it has any concrete plans for further divestments.
In a note prior to the auction, analyst Soh Lin Sin from Phillip Securities (Singapore) said that the purchase is in line with Thai Beverage’s goal to boost its presence in the ASEAN market. The Thai beer giant recently forked out $742 million to take over two leading beer brands in Myanmar.
The shares of Sabeco on the stock exchange closed at VND309,200 ($13.6) today.