In a final round of negotions on November 15, Carlsberg hopes to be succesfull in acquiring Vietnam’s second largest brewer Habeco. As Habeco’s deputy general director Vương Toàn said, both sides already had nine negotiations but failed to reach an agreement on selling the government’s stake in Habeco to Carlsberg.
The Danish brewer bought 16% of Habeco in Habeco’s IPO in 2009 and acquired since then another 1.5% on the stock market. Under the co-operative agreement from 2009, Carlsberg would be allowed to top of the list of potential investors in case of additional sales of Habeco shares.
However, Vietnam has recently announced to restrict foreign ownership in the two state owned breweries Sabeco and Habeco to 49%, which is a major obstacle in a privatization (inside.beer, 8.9.2017). Habeco sold 7.2 million hectoliters of beer last year, which was an increase of 2.1%. A young and ever growing population makes Vietnam, which is still one of the world's four remaining one-party socialist states officially espousing communism, attractive to potential buyers for breweries.