Vietnam: ThaiBev to raise stake in Sabeco’s majority shareholder to 99%

Thai Beverage (ThaiBev) has come closer to its goal to take full ownership of Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Sabeco). The company has reached an agreement to acquire another 50 per cent in Vietnam F&B Alliance, a company which bought nearly 54% of Vietnam’s largest brewing company Sabeco in December 2017  (, 18.12.2017). BeerCo, an indirect but wholly-owned subsidiary of ThaiBev will purchase more than 34 million shares in Vietnam F&B for 340.8 billion dong  (US$14.7 million) and increase its holding to 99 per cent, ThaiBev said in an announcement. The remaining one per cent is still held by other Vietnamese shareholders.

Vietnam F&B Alliance was established in 2017 in order to allow ThaiBev to bid for a majority stake in Sabeco in an auction held the same year. Local regulation at that time barred overseas investors from owning more than 49 per cent of listed Vietnamese businesses which kept away other interested buyers including AB InBev, Kirin Holdings, Asahi Group Holdings and San Miguel (, 1.8.2017).

Finally, two months ago Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance removed the foreign ownership cap of 49 percent (, 6.12.2018), allowing ThaiBev also to take over officially the majority in Sabeco.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade still holds about 35.6% in Sabeco. The remaining 10.4% of the company's shares represent free float, with Dragon Capital, an independent domestic asset manager, being the largest single shareholder. (, 17.3.2018)

Saigon Beer is the leading beer brand in Vietnam with about 140 years of history. The company was founded in colonial Vietnam in 1875 as a small French workshop. After the revolution of Southern Vietnam, the factory was managed by the Southern Brewery Company and renamed itself in 1977 as BSG Factory and then officially named as Saigon Beer Company in 1993. In 1977 the brewery produced only 215.000 hl. 40 years later, in its year of privatization the output was multiplied to 16.6 million hl.

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