Heineken has upped its stake in the Tiger brewer

Heineken has upped its stake in the Tiger brewer

Heineken has raised its direct stake in Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) to 12.18% in the hope of seeing off any challenge for full control of the Tiger beer producer. 

In a regulatory filing yesterday (21 August), the Dutch brewer said it has acquired 6.9m APB shares - 2.68% of the group - at SGD53 (US$42.40) via open market purchases and block trades. The dealings raise Heinken's APB holding from 9.5% to 12.18%. 

A separate holding company, Asia Pacific Investment Pte Ltd, which has around a 65% direct stake in APB, is jointly owned by Heineken and Fraser and Neave (F&N). The Singapore conglomerate also has a 7.3% direct stake in the JV.

Heineken's latest move means it now has a total direct and indirect stake of around 44.6% in APB. 

In the battle for the brewer, the Dutch company last week raised its offer to F&N for its direct and non-direct stake in the Tiger brewer to SGD53 per share, from a previous offer of SGD50 per share. The new "final offer" represents a total sum of around SGD5.4bn (US$4.3bn). 

But, it could face opposition from Chang brewer ThaiBev, which has been steadily building its stake in F&N and is the group's biggest shareholder

Heineken did not reveal who it bought the APB shares from, but reports suggest Singapore state-investment company Temasek Holdings Pte has sold its 1.4% stake to the Dutch brewer.

Earlier today, Heineken reported a slight climb in first-half net profits.

For a video interview with Heineken's CFO, which covers both the H1 numbers and the APB situation, click here.