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Sabeco Deputy CEO to step down from Management Board

Released at: 15:00, 26/12/2016

Sabeco Deputy CEO to step down from Management Board

Photo: Vu Quang Hai (far, right)/VietJet Air/Courtesy

Mr. Vu Quang Hai, son of the former Minister of Industry and Trade, to step down as Board Member but will remain as Deputy CEO.

by Duy Anh

Mr. Vu Quang Hai, the son of the former Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang, has proposed stepping down from his position as Board Member at Vietnam’s largest brewer, the Saigon Beer Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco).

After the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) received a written proposal from Mr. Hai on December 23, Mr. Ta Huu Linh, Chief of Office at MoIT, confirmed with local media that the proposal was at Mr. Hai’s initiative and not the result of any external pressure.

The proposal will have to be presented to a shareholders meeting and the Board of Management for a decision. This will have to follow Sabeco’s procedures and constitution, said Mr. Tran Quang Huy, Head of the Department of Personnel and Organization at MoIT.

For his part, Mr. Hai told local media that he plans to step down from his position as Board Member and at this point, “the 2016 plan of Sabeco has been finished, and all tasks under my responsibility have been completed,” he said. 

Mr. Hai was appointed Deputy CEO at Sabeco in early 2015. He is responsible for production plans, administration, and marketing. Despite stepping down from his position as Board Member, he will remain as Deputy CEO.

According to a source at Sabeco, another Deputy CEO, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Nam, will take up Mr. Hai’s seat on the Board to maintain the number of State representatives at the brewer at four.

Former Minister Hoang has been dismissed as the Secretary of MoIT’s Party delegation. He was primarily blamed for the erroneous appointments of several key personnel at the ministry during his time at the helm, including the appointment of his son at Sabeco.

Sabeco, meanwhile, will publicly auction their shares and hire consultants to set out a roadmap for the largest divestment by the State next year.

Representatives of the State holding in Sabeco will have the full use of the company’s resources to conduct the equitization process, a statement sent to the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) on December 20 said.

Sabeco has been equitized before, with the State still holding 89.59 per cent, worth at least $1.8 billion, which was to be offloaded in two phases: 53.59 per cent this year and the remaining 36 per cent sometime next year.

That plan is now officially obsolete, however, with 2016 wrapping up and no sale conducted. The first phase will now proceed in April, Head of MoIT’s Enterprise Reform Commission, Mr. Phan Dang Tuat, was quoted as saying to foreign media in December.

The size of the stake is still to be decided, with reports from those in the know putting the figure at least 40 per cent in one sale. Seven companies, including Heineken NV, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, and Asahi Group Holdings Ltd, have already registered to bid for Sabeco, which listed about 641.3 million shares at an initial price of VND110,000 ($4.84) on December 6.

With its shares closing as high as VND225,000 ($9.89) on December 16, Sabeco’s market capitalization stood at $5.6 billion, the second-highest in the country after Vinamilk.

Securities companies believe the surge in Sabeco’s share price has added 20 points to the VN-Index. At the close of trade on December 23 its shares stood at VND200,000 ($8.8).

In related news, the recent 9 per cent stake sale by Vinamilk perhaps provides lessons for the State when divesting from Sabeco. The measly offering caused some disquiet among the dairy giant’s potential shareholders, with 3.6 per cent on offer remaining untouched.

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