Vietnam Beverage eyes 25 percent Sabeco stake (Illustrative image. Source internet)

Hano​i (VNA)
- The Ministry of Industry and Trade on December 11 announced that an investor has registered to hold at least 25 percent of the Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco), of which the Government is going to sell stake equal to nearly 5 billion USD.

According to the ministry’s announcement, Vietnam Beverage Co Ltd, a unit of Thai Beverage, has become the first investor to register to buy a large quantity of Sabeco shares at 8pm on December 11.

Under the ministry’s Decision No. 4444/QD-BCT on November 17 on bidding of Sabeco shares, bidders keen to own 25 percent or more stake need to inform local authorities a week earlier.

As reported by local news website cafef.vn, Vietnam Beverage with charter capital of 682 billion VND (30.3 million USD), is wholly owned by Vietnam F&B Alliance Investment Company, which in turn is 49 percent owned by BeerCo Ltd. BeerCo Ltd is a subsidiary of Thai Beverage, which is controlled by tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi.

According to the Government’s plan for Sabeco’s divestment, 53.59 percent stake, equivalent to nearly 343.7 million shares in the country’s largest brewery, will be sold to investors. 

The shares, coded SAB, will be auctioned at an initial price of 320,000 VND (14.04 USD) each on December 18 via open competitive bidding in accordance with relevant regulations.

At the initial price, Sabeco’s market capitalisation will reach 205 trillion VND (9 billion USD). If at least 25 percent of the company is bought, Vietnam Beverage will have to pay 2.25 billion USD. 

Foreign investors will be allowed to buy up to 247.47 million shares, or 38.59 percent stake in Sabeco. Foreign ownership in Sabeco is limited to a maximum of 49 percent. Currently, foreign entities already own 10 percent.

The HCM City Securities Corporation forecasts that by the end of 2017, Sabeco’s net revenue will total 34.6 trillion VND, up 13.4 percent year-on- year, and its post-tax profit will reach 4.9 trillion VND, up 9.4 percent year-on-year. 

In the first half of this year, Sabeco’s post-tax profit touched 2.5 trillion VND, up 8 percent from the figure of last year’s corresponding period.-VNA