THAILAND: Serm Suk, PepsiCo row rumbles on; SBK holds trump card
SBK Beverage has confirmed to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Thailand that its stake in Serm Suk is not “related to PepsiCo”, according to local reports.
Serm Suk, which bottles PepsiCo's beverages in Thailand, is looking to terminate its contract with PepsiCo due to a disagreement over terms. SBK Beverage, which holds a 9.13% stake in Serm Suk, is a Thailand-based subsidiary of Japan's Suntory Group, which handles PepsiCo's bottling in Japan.
PepsiCo already owns a 41.5% stake in Serm Suk through Pepsi-Cola (Thai) Trading and Seven-up Nederland.
Last month, PepsiCo, which has worked with Serm Suk in Thailand for 59 years, maintained that it has "consistently negotiated in good faith" with Serm Suk to review and amend the terms of their agreement. However, the firm said that, while it had agreed to some of the new terms, there were also a number of "unreasonable conditions" added by Serm Suk that it would not agree to.
A report in Thailand's The National earlier this week has said that a minor shareholder of Serm Suk had filed a complaint with the SEC regarding SBK's stake in Serm Suk, and asked the commission to find out if the unit had acted as part of the same group as PepsiCo.
The newspaper cited a source as saying: "SBK … has no ties with Pepsi and the period of time it invested in Serm Suk was also not related in any way to Pepsi.”
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.
Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management investment fund reportedly no longer owns shares in PepsiCo....
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