heineken ups bid for tiger beer maker
Last Updated : GMT 13:03:42
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Heineken ups bid for Tiger Beer maker

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Heineken ups bid for Tiger Beer maker

The Hague - AFP

Dutch brewing giant Heineken Friday agreed to a final offer of Sg$53 a share for Singapore\'s Asia Pacific Breweries to fend off a Thai rival and gain control of Asia\'s fast-growing beer market. The Amsterdam-based group added it had inked a definitive agreement with Singapore conglomerate Fraser and Neave\'s board to \"irrevocably recommend\" the proposed deal. \"Heineken today announced it has agreed a final offer of Sg$53 per APB share for Fraser and Neave\'s entire stake in APB,\" for a total cash consideration of Sg$5.6 billion ($4.4 billion/3.6 billion euros), Heineken said in a statement. \"The total cash consideration to F&N under the final offer will be Sg$5.6 billion, an increase of Sg$307 million compared to Heineken\'s previous offer made on 20 July, 2012,\" it said. \"Heineken will not increase its final offer and believes that it provides compelling value to both F&N and APB shareholders,\" the company said. F&N which directly and indirectly owns 40 percent in APB had previously accepted an offer from long-time partner Heineken to acquire its stake for Sg$50 a share or Sg$5.1 billion. F&N\'s board accepted the offer and agreed to recommend it to shareholders, but Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi\'s Thai Beverage and a company owned by his son-in-law, Kindest Place, made rival bids. Kindest Place offered to buy F&N\'s 7.3 percent direct stake in APB for Sg$55 a share -- 10 percent more than the original Heineken proposal. At the same time, Thai Beverage has steadily built up its stake in F&N, raising it from 24 percent to 26.4 percent, giving the firm a bigger say on the Heineken offer. Both F&N and APB, the maker of Tiger Beer, requested trading to halt earlier Friday before the Singapore Exchange opened, citing a \"pending release of an announcement\" as the reason. Heineken already owns 42 percent of APB and is seeking full control in a bid to expand its presence in the fast-growing Asian market. \"When the proposed transaction is completed, the Heineken group will hold a 81.6 percent stake in APB and gain control of APB\'s business,\" Heineken said. \"I am pleased that F&N\'s board has agreed that our increased offer, which is now final, represents excellent value for F&N and APB shareholders,\" Heineken\'s chief executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said. In a statement issued in Singapore, F&N chairman Lee Hsien Yang added Heineken\'s new offer was for F&N\'s entire interest in APB, while Kindest Place\'s offer, \"although marginally higher than Heineken\'s on a per share basis, is only for our direct 7.3 percent stake\". \"The sale of F&N\'s stakes in APB in its entirety to Heineken at the improved price would better maximise overall returns for F&N shareholders,\" Lee said. \"If F&N shareholders approve the sale, all remaining APB shareholders will also stand to benefit from the higher mandatory offer price of Sg$53 per share,¨ he added. Heineken said the deal, if approved, was expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of the year, but no later December 15, 2012.

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