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SINGAPORE: Government body intervenes in Fraser & Neave battle

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TCC Assets and Overseas Union Enterprise (OUE) face an auction unless they can resolve their bidding war over Fraser & Neave, a government watchdog has warned. 

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The two companies have extended the deadlines on their offers for the Singapore conglomerate multiple times in recent weeks. Initially, ThaiBev-controlled TCC Assets launched a SGD9bn (US$7.36bn) all-cash offer for F&N in October. But OUE, a Singapore-based property group, topped that offer with a SGD13.1bn (US$10.7bn) bid in November. 

However, Singapore’s Securities Industry Council (SSIC) yesterday (15 January) intervened in the situation. It said the latest time for a “revised” offer is this Sunday (20 Sunday). After this, if the situation is not resolved an “auction procedure” will kick-in, the SSIC said. 

Explaining its move, the watchdog said: "Given that neither TCC nor OUE has declared its offer final, such that either offer may be increased or otherwise revised, the council considers that the company’s shareholders should be provided with certainty to make their investment decisions in respect of the competing offers.” 

If the OUE bid is successful, Kirin Holdings has agreed to acquire F&N's food and beverage business for SGD2.7bn.


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