Chang brewer ThaiBev is Fraser and Neaves biggest shareholder

Chang brewer ThaiBev is Fraser and Neave's biggest shareholder

ThaiBev has upped its stake in Fraser & Neave to 29%, just below the level that would trigger a mandatory offer for the entire Singapore conglomerate. 

In a regulatory filing yesterday (28 August), the Chang brewer said it has bought an extra 36.8m shares in F&N for SGD316m (US$252m), bringing its total stake to around 29%. Under Singapore regulations, if its interest hit 30%, ThaiBev would be forced to bid for the whole of F&N.

ThaiBev has been gradually raising its stake in F&N, which runs Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) as a JV with Heineken. The Chang brewer's actions are being seen as a bid to stop Heineken taking full control of APB, brewer of Tiger beer. 

However a source told Reuters: "ThaiBev doesn't have the desire to buy the whole of F&N. If they want to block Heineken's bid for Asia Pacific Breweries, they need to win over Kirin and some other institutional shareholders to get the 51% majority."

F&N's board has accepted a "final" offer from Heineken for its total stake in APB, but the deal still requires approval from the conglomerate's shareholders.