A Thai Beverage affiliate has won an auction to buy a majority stake worth $4.84 billion in Sabeco, Vietnam’s largest brewer.
Vietnam Beverage said it won the bidding for an almost 54% holding in the state-owned brewery, which has the Saigon Beer and 333 Beer brands as part of its portfolio.
AB InBev, Kirin Holdings, Heineken and San Miguel were among the global brewers that showed interest in Sabeco, but many were reportedly put off by the high valuation.
ThaiBev, which is controlled by billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi and makes Chang Beer, has sought to reinforce its business overseas and aims to profit from Vietnam’s young population and booming beer market, which was worth around $6.48 billion last year.
It generates most of its sales overseas in Europe and last month continued expanding with the purchase of Myanmar Distillery Company, the maker of Grand Royal whisky, for $1 billion.
Sabeco is planning to launch one to two new products next year and increase its market share, CEO Nguyen Thanh Nam told investors.
The Vietnamese government also plans to sell of its Habeco beverage company. Carlsberg said earlier this year that it aims to increase its holding from 17% to at least a majority stake, with a view to taking over the whole operation.
Beer consumption is expected to increase in Vietnam from a volume of almost 3.9 billion litres in 2015 to just over 4 billion litres this year – up 4.1% – according to research from Euromonitor International.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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