Sabeco beer production plant (Source: tinnhanhchungkhoan.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) -
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on December 18 sold all of its 343.6 million shares or a 53.6 percent stake of the Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco), receiving an estimated 110 trillion VND (4.89 billion USD).

The auction, announced by Sabeco on November 29, drew attention from one individual investor and one institutional investor, both of which were domestic.

The two investors had earlier registered to purchase more than 343.68 million shares in total, 20,000 shares more than the amount offered for sale.

The successful average auction price was 320,250 VND (14.23 USD) per share, nearly unchanged from the initial pricing of 320,000 VND set by MoIT in late November.

The individual investor purchased 20,000 Sabeco shares for 320,500 VND per share while the institutional investor was able to scoop up the remainder for 320,000 VND per share.

The institute was revealed as Vietnam Beverage Co Ltd, which had been reported by local media to have signed up to buy at least 25 percent of Sabeco’s capital at the share auction.

Nguyen Ngoc Lan, head of brokerage division at Agribank Securities Co, told tinnhanhchungkhoan.vn last week that if Sabeco was unable to sell shares at a much higher price than the initial auction price set by MoIT, it would not have big negative impacts on the market.

“Investors took the chance of that failure into account and such expectations had already priced in Sabeco shares recently,” Lan said.
The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange on December 18 added 2.45 percent to close near 960 points.

Sabeco shares, listed on the southern trading bourse as SAB, rose as much as 2.8 percent before closing flat at 309,200 VND per share on December 18.

At the end of last week, Sabeco shares had fallen 8.8 percent from its record high of 339,000 VND per share after the sale plan was announced in late November on concerns that the MoIT and the Government may not sell the shares at higher price levels than the initial price of 320,000 VND.

As reported by cafef.vn, Vietnam Beverage with charter capital of 682 billion VND, is wholly owned by Vietnam F&B Alliance Investment Company, which in turn is 49 per cent owned by BeerCo Ltd.
BeerCo Ltd is a subsidiary of Thai Beverage, which is controlled by tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi.

According to Vietnam’s regulations, any foreign investor or business - in which foreign investors hold more than 51 percent of capital – can only raise ownership in Sabeco to maximum 49 percent.

As 49 percent of Vietnam Beverage’s capital is owned by foreign investors, the company is not bound to that regulation.

According to Japanese news agency Asia Nikkei, the deal will help Thai Beverage expand its market share to other countries with revenue from overseas markets representing 50 percent of the producer’s total revenue.

Sabeco now holds 40 percent of the Vietnamese beverage market, making Vietnam’s largest brewer a valuable target for Thai Beverage.-VNA