The row between PepsiCo and Serm Suk in Thailand rolls on

The row between PepsiCo and Serm Suk in Thailand rolls on

The ongoing row between Serm Suk and PepsiCo in Thailand took another turn this week, when Serm Suk stakeholder SBK Beverage filed a lawsuit against the Thai bottler.

SBK Beverage, a Thai subsidiary of Japan's Suntory Group, which handles PepsiCo's bottling in Japan, currently holds a 9.13% stake in Serm Suk. Last month, SBK was moved to confirm to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Thailand that it has no ties with PepsiCo through its Serm Suk stake.

Serm Suk is looking to terminate its bottling contract in Thailand with PepsiCo due to a disagreement over terms. PepsiCo owns a 41.5% stake in Serm Suk, making SBK's stake key in deciding who holds majority control of Serm Suk.

Earlier this week, a report in the Bangkok Post claimed that SBK has filed a lawsuit against Serm Suk and its six newly-elected directors, seeking a court order to revoke all resolutions approved at the AGM held on 29 April. SBK maintains that it is acting to protect its legitimate rights after it was banned from attending the AGM.

A group of Serm Suk shareholders, led by SS National Logistics, has come together to oppose PepsiCo. The group accounts for 49% of Serm Suk's shares, led by SS National's 32.6% stake. Some “small shareholders allege (that PepsiCo) was trying to take over Serm Suk”, the Bangkok Post reported.