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Sabeco sale set for December

Released at: 17:50, 16/11/2017

Sabeco sale set for December

Photo: baomoi.com

MoIT working on plan to complete share sale next month after repeated delays.

by Quang Huy

The government, which owns an 89.59 per cent stake in the Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp. (Sabeco), has approved a plan to withdraw its holding in the company on November 9, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said in a statement on November 15.

The divestment will be made via public auctioning, as the government did with Vinamilk, the largest dairy producer in the country, in December last year and on November 10.

The auction is open to both domestic and foreign investors. The government aims to complete a stake sale in the country’s biggest brewer in December, with details on the volume of shares to be sold, the initial price, and how much overseas investors are allowed to buy to be announced later, according to the statement.

Half a dozen international brewers, including Heineken, Kirin, AB Inbev, and ThaiBev, have expressed an interest in acquiring strategic stakes in Sabeco.

Vietnam’s beer-swilling culture and Sabeco’s 40 per cent market share are the factors that make it attractive. Its stock had increased to VND275,000 ($12.1) as at 2pm on November 16, up 150 per cent from its listing price last December.

In a separate report, the government-run Steering Committee for Business Renovation and Development said the government will sell a 53.59 per cent stake in Sabeco. However, the timing and whether the shares will be sold in one or several tranches have not been confirmed.

With Sabeco’s market valuation of VND176.35 trillion ($7.65 billion), the government is expected to fetch around $4 billion from the divestment. After the stake sale, the State holding in the brewer will stand at 36 per cent, enough for it to retain veto rights.

Sabeco expects its net profit to grow 9.4 per cent to VND4.9 trillion ($215.8 million) this year while revenue is projected to increase 13.4 per cent to VND34.66 trillion ($1.52 billion).

The government has been seeking to divest its holdings from a wide range of companies, including the Hanoi Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp. (Habeco), Sabeco’s rival. No divestment plan has been announced yet for the maker of Hanoi Beer.

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