Japanese brewery Kirin withdraws investment from Sabeco

By Minh An - Dec 17, 2017 | 11:38 PM GMT+7

TheLEADERKirin and Asahi, two Japanese breweries are not expected to bid for Sabeco's stake in the auction on this December 18.

Japanese brewery Kirin withdraws investment from Sabeco
Photo: Reuters

Japanese brewer Kirin has decided not to participate in the Sabeco auction due to the limited holding ratio of foreign investors and fierce bidding.

According to the regulations, the maximum foreign ownership ratio in Sabeco is 49 per cent. As foreign investors have already possessed nearly 10 per cent stake in Sabeco, they are allowed to purchase a maximum of 38.59 per cent stake.

Earlier, Kirin and Asahi alongside Thai Beverage Plc (ThaiBev) were seen as potential buyers when the State announced to divest its stake in Sabeco.

At the end of last month, Kirin's representative told Reuters that they were considering joining the bid but refused to disclose the number of shares expected to buy.

Meanwhile, Asahi registered to buy Sabeco shares last year. However, three months before the Sabeco auction, Asahi President, and Chief Operating Officer Akiyoshi Koji told Bloomberg that Sabeco was being overvalued and refused to comment on the possibility of Asahi joining the bid.

Last year, Asahi spent nearly US$10 billion to buy some businesses of AB Inbev, one of the World's largest brewers, in Europe. The Japanese brewer is expected to focus on developing these assets in the European market rather than buying more shares of Asian brewers.

Sabeco, Vietnam's largest beer company, will auction 53.59 per cent of state-owned shares on this December 18. The offering price is VND320,000 (roughly US$14.12) per share.

A company set up in Vietnam by ThaiBev later submitted an application to buy 51 per cent stake in Sabeco. However, this is not its official bid number for the auction.

Prior to that, Merger Market also reported that foreign banks had completed procedures to provide US$4 billion loans, US$2-3 billion of which is contributed by Thai banks, to investors participating in Sabeco auction.