Reports have said that Vietnams two government breweries are up for sale

Reports have said that Vietnam's two government breweries are up for sale

Sabeco's CEO has claimed that a host of international brewers are lining up to buy the Vietnamese brewery after the government decided to sell its controlling stake, according to a report.

Le Hong Xanh told Bloomberg today that seven companies including Heineken, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Asahi and Kirin, have registered bids for stakes in the Saigon Beer producer.

"Sabeco doesn't care if the buyer is an international or domestic company," Xanh reportedly said. "All we care about is who will pay the most. The government wants to sell its stakes as soon as possible."

According to Bloomberg, the Vietnam government values its 89.59% Sabeco stake at US$1.8bn. The government is also reportedly seeking to offload its 82% stake in Habeco, another Vietnamese brewery. Sabeco will be sold in two tranches in 2016 and 2017, while Habeco will be divested this year, Bloomberg said, citing a Ministry of Industry and Trade announcement from late last month.

Heineken already owns a small stake in Sabeco, however a spokesperson for the company declined to comment on today's Bloomberg report. A spokesperson for Carlsberg, which owns a stake in Habeco, said authorities still had not set a timeline for any Habeco sale, and that it had heard nothing new regarding a memorandum of understanding the company signed in 2009. Under the terms of the memorandum, Carlsberg is to be allowed to raise its stake in Habeco from 16% to 30%.

Carlsberg CEO Cees 't Hart has previously said the company would be interested in increasing its presence in Vietnam.

AB InBev declined to comment. Kirin and Asahi could also not be reached for comment. According to Bloomberg, an Asahi spokesperson said the brewer  "is interested in acquiring Sabeco".

Vietnam is shaping up to be a major battleground for beer as international brewers flock to the high-growth market that boasts some of the highest consumption trends in Asia.

Why Vietnam is the next beer battleground – click here for an analysis