08:27 | 12/12/2017 Companies
Shares of the Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) - Vietnam’s biggest brewer - will be offered at an initial price of VND320,000 (US$14) apiece on December 18, it was announced on November 29.
Over 343.6 million shares, equivalent to 53.59% of Sabeco’s charter capital, will be on sale, the Ministry of Industry and Trade stated.
The sale, aimed to significantly reduce the State’s holding in Sabeco, coded SAB on the HCM Stock Exchange (HOSE), from nearly 90%, will be offered via open competitive bidding to eligible investors, in accordance with relevant regulations.
The sale is set to attract a great deal of attention from both domestic and foreign investors, given the company’s leading position in the industry.
Truong Thanh Hoai, deputy director of the ministry’s Industry Department, said foreign investors will be allowed to buy up to 247.4 million shares, or a 38.59% stake in Sabeco.
Foreign investors currently own 10.41% of Sabeco and foreign ownership is limited to a maximum of 49%.
The State’s divestment from Sabeco was accelerated after the Ministry of Industry and Trade asked the HOSE to organise roadshows in Singapore and the UK.
The roadshow in Singapore was organised on November 24 and one in UK on November 27.
The divestment from Sabeco has drawn great interest from investors, especially foreign buyers. Several foreign breweries have expressed interest in Sabeco, including San Miguel, Heineken, SABMiller, Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (Thai Beverage), Japanese Asahi Group Holdings Ltd., and Kirin Holdings Co.
“Sabeco, valued at US$9 billion at current prices, has received a strong response from potential suitors at an investors’ roadshow in Singapore and London.
“However, the maximum foreign ownership ratio of 49% is also an obstacle to foreign investors,” said Deputy Minister Cao Quoc Hung.
Sabeco currently owns 24 manufacturing plants with a total designed capacity of 1.8 billion litres per year, 20 of which are in operation. The remaining four are expected to begin operations in the near future.
The company holds an estimated 41% of Vietnam’s US$6.5 billion beer market. Vietnam is among the top three beer consumers in Asia.