Illustrative photo (Photo: vir.com.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - Two beverage companies controlled by Thai business magnate Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi have registered to buy 78.38 million shares, or 5.4 percent of the dairy firm Vinamilk.

Vinamilk is the largest stock by market capitalisation in Vietnam, valued at 8.6 billion USD as on December 8.

The Singapore-based F&N Dairy Investment Pte. Ltd. and F&N BEV Manufacturing Pte. Ltd. are subsidiaries of Fraser &Neave Ltd., whose CEO Lee Meng Tat is a member of Vinamilk’s management board.

Each company is picking up 39.19 million shares, or 2.7 percent of Vinamilk’s shares, according to the HCM Stock Exchange (HOSE). This is maximum volume of shares each investor is allowed to buy in the forthcoming December 12 auction.

Trading will be conducted based on competitive auctions, negotiated trade and put-through trade, from December 12, 2016, to January 10, 2017.

F&N Dairy Investment is currently Vinamilk’s largest foreign shareholder, with an ownership of 10.95 percent. The group has been investing in Vinamilk since 2005 and its holding of Vinamilk shares is now worth around 1 billion USD.

The State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) holds the Government’s 45 percent stake in Vinamilk and foreign investors have for long been interested in the dairy firm thanks to its strong prospects and expansion plans.

Starting December 12, SCIC will put 130.6 million shares of Vinamilk on sale, which amounts to 9 percent of Vinamilk’s charter capital, at 144,000 VND per share (6.32 USD).

If the transactions are successful, the two companies will spend at least 11.3 trillion VND to own the stakes, raising Fraser &Neave’s total holdings from 10.95 percent to 16.35 percent.

Last year, the Thai billionaire Charoen bought Vietnam’s supermarket chain Metro Cash & Carry. — VNA