Vietnam: ThaiBev files complaint over Sabeco’s board representation

ThaiBev has filed a complaint with the Vietnamese government to immediately appoint its representatives to the management board and board of directors of the country’s leading beer maker Sabeco, following the acquisition of a 53.58% stake in the company in December last year. (, 18.12.2017)

According to Vietnamese law every shareholder with a share greater than 10% in a company is entitled to appoint a representative to the management board provided that two-thirds of the shareholders accept it. Since the government still holds 36% in Sabeco the government has the right to refuse the appointment.

Reportedly ThaiBev wants to appoint at Sabeco's extraordinary shareholders meeting in April the following three executives:

  • Koh Poh Tiong, from ThaiBev's group steering committee;
  • Tran Kim Nga, Chief Executive from Vietnam Beverage; and
  • Micheal Chye Hin Fah, legal representative from Vietnam Beverage.

People close to the matter report that some unresolved issues with ThaiBev’s acquisition still prevent the appointments. The State Audit Office of Vietnam recently proposed that Sabeco pay into the state budget around $110 million worth of dividends, taken from the brewer's undistributed profit for the period prior to 2016, a fact that was not disclosed during due diligence.

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