• ThaiBev denies interest in bottler
  • Newspaper links ThaiBev owner to bid
  • THB11.2bn takeover offer submitted
ThaiBev says it is not linked to THB11.2bn bid for Serm Suk

ThaiBev says it is not linked to THB11.2bn bid for Serm Suk

Thai Public Beverage Co has denied that it plans to take control of Serm Suk, in the latest twist of a protracted takeover battle for the soft drinks bottler.

Thai Public Beverage Co (ThaiBev) said today (17 November) that reports linking the Chang beer brewer with Serm Suk were not true. It did not comment further.

Speculation as to ThaiBev's possible involvement in a takeover bid for Serm Suk adds to the intrigue surrounding the Thailand-based soft drinks bottler.

Earlier this year, PepsiCo and its partner in Thailand, Strategic Beverages, failed in a bid to gain control of Serm Suk. Strategic Beverages already owns 41.54% of the bottler and sought to increase this stake to 51% by purchasing shares at THB29 (US$0.96) each.

But, PepsiCo and its partner pulled the offer after Serm Suk's management said that it undervalued the business. Serm Suk has subsequently been reported to be seeking to end its 60-year association with PepsiCo.
Earlier this month, the bottler confirmed that a company named SS National Logistics has launched a tender offer for all Serm Suk shares for almost almost THB11.2bn. The offer values each share at THB42.

As Serm Suk's management mulls the offer, speculation has centred on who owns SS National Logistics, which is where the ThaiBev connection comes into play. Some reports have said that SS National Logistics is controlled by some of Serm Suk's founding members. Thailand's The Nation newspaper reported today that ThaiBev's founder and major shareholder, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, has joined forces with the Serm Suk founders and that his property businesses are, indirectly, major shareholders in SS National Logistics.

Serm Suk's net profits rose by 45% to THB50.1m in the third quarter of 2010. Profits for the first nine months of the year increased by 60% to THB458.9m.