VIETNAM: Sabeco seeks foreign brewers to take stake
Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Sabeco) is looking for a foreign brewer to invest in the Vietnamese company, according to local reports.
Newspaper Securities Investment said over the weekend that Heineken, Anheuser-Busch, InBev, Asahi Breweries and Thai Beverage have all been approached by the state-owned brewer with a view to taking a strategic stake in the brewer.
The paper cited company chairman Nguyen Ba Thi as saying: "The process to pick a strategic partner for Sabeco is not conclusive because the foreign partners sought some requirements which are not beneficial to Sabeco." Nguyen did not offer any further details on Sabeco's plans.
Earlier this month, Sabeco said that it hopes to raise around US$560m from an IPO set for 28 January. The company will look to sell just over 128m shares via auction on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Market. The sale represents a 20% holding in Sabeco, and will be offered to foreign and local investors.
Once the IPO has completed, the Vietnamese state will own 79.61%, with 20% in public hands and the remaining shares held by company staff. Sabeco accounts for around a third of Vietnam's fast-growing beer market.
Carlsberg holds around 10% of the beer market through its investments in two local brewers. In March, the Danish brewer bought a 10% stake in Habeco, Vietnam's second-largest brewer. Local brewer Saigon Brewery remains the market leader in Vietnam, where beer consumption is growing at about 8% a year.
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