Vietnam: ThaiBev succeeds in adding three representatives to Sabeco’s board

ThaiBev has finally succeeded and added three additional representatives to Sabeco’s management board. Four weeks ago, ThaiBev filed a complaint with the Vietnamese government to immediately appoint its representatives to the board of the country’s leading beer maker Sabeco, following the acquisition of a 53.58% stake in the company in December last year. (inside.beer, 29.3.2018)

Earlier this year, the government refused the appointment, reportedly because of unresolved financial issues in respect to the acquisition. The government still holds 36% in Sabeco, which gave it the right of refusal. According to Sabeco's charter and Vietnam's Law on Enterprises, ThaiBev has the right to appoint as many as five members to the management board, after holding a stake of more than 50% for six consecutive months. Sabeco's board is capped at seven members, which leaves three available seats.

The shareholders of Vietnam’s largest brewer voted today to in favor of Singaporean Koh Poh Tiong, board director and adviser of Fraser and Neave and member of ThaiBev’s group steering committee; Malcolm Tan Tiang Hing, CEO of Shanghai-based beverage distributor DXCel International; and Sunyaluck Chaikajornwat, partner of Thai law firm Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners. The latter two nominees were new on the list. Last month ThaiBev was said to appoint Tran Kim Nga, Chief Executive from Vietnam Beverage and Micheal Chye Hin Fah, legal representative from Vietnam Beverage to Sabeco’s board.

The company did not respond on a request concerning the matter.

Chairman Vo Thanh Ha, who has held his position since October 2015, has also resigned from his position. The move is regarded as a reflection of Hanoi's decreased ownership in the company. With ThaiBev's 53.58% stake in Sabeco, the Ministry of Industry and Trade's stake has fallen to 36% from 89.59% previously. The proposed dismissal will make it possible for ThaiBev to appoint a fourth member to the board and hold the chairmanship at the company.

Sabeco will hold its 2018 annual general meeting in June.

 

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