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State to reduce holding in Sabeco

Released at: 15:19, 13/03/2015

State to reduce holding in Sabeco

Share sale to reduce State stake from 89% to 36%.

by Tue Lam

More than ten investors hope to secure shares of the Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Joint Stock Corporation (Sabeco), including Heineken, ThaiBev, and SAB Miller.

Mr. Phan Dang Tuat, CEO of Sabeco, said that the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has submitted plans for selling 53 per cent of the State's share in Sabeco, cutting it from 89 per cent to 36 per cent. He also said that all shares would be auctioned. "We have yet to set a specific price, but all applicants wishing to be a strategic partner of Sabeco will have to meet the criteria MoIT has submitted to the government," he added.

Ten investors have registered to buy shares in Sabeco, such as Ashahi (Japan), Heineken (the Netherlands), ThaiBev (Thailand) and SAB Miller (US). A number of domestic companies are also interested, including Saigon Securities Inc. (SSI), Anh Duong Group (ADG), and Duc Binh Group. After the auction is conducted, MoIT will select two to purchase shares.

At the end of 2014, ThaiBev, which is owned by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi proposed to the Vietnamese Government that his company purchase the shares for a total of $2 billion. Leaders at Sabeco, however, did not agree, as they place the value at a higher level.

Sabeco owns 100 per cent of the charter capital of three subsidiaries and invests in 19 associate companies. In 2014 its revenue reached nearly VND30 trillion ($1.4 billion) and pre-tax profit was nearly VND4 billion ($188,000). On February 10 its shares closed at VND71,500 ($3.4).

Vietnam spends $3 billion on beer consumption each year - the highest in ASEAN.

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