F&N confirms bid for Peroni, Grolsch beer brands


Fraser and Neave (F&N) has confirmed it is interested in acquiring the two SABMiller brands, in a deal that could be worth up to 3 billion euros (S$4.66 billion).


SINGAPORE: Fraser and Neave (F&N) has confirmed its bid for SABMiller’s Peroni and Grolsch beer brands, according to a Singapore Exchange filing on Tuesday (Jan 26).

“The company constantly evaluates and looks out for strategic opportunities to grow its business, and in this respect, it has expressed an interest to acquire the Peroni and Grolsch beer brands,” F&N said.

However, it added that there is “no certainty of any transaction materialising”, and it will make an announcement if there are further developments.

On Monday, F&N’s parent company Thai Beverage said it used the Singapore-listed unit to bid for the two beer brands.

The non-binding bid was an attempt by the group to expand into premium brands with strong market positions, the Thai firm’s Chief Executive Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar. He gave no details about pricing.

His comments confirmed a Reuters report last Thursday that Thai Beverage was among bidders going through to the final stages of an auction to buy the two brands in a deal that could be worth up to 3 billion euros (S$4.66 billion).

Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings, private equity firms PAI Partners and Bain Capital and European buyout fund EQT have also been shortlisted by the seller, Anheuser-Busch InBev, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

“This will be an opportunity for us to increase international brands into our portfolio,” Thapana said, adding F&N aimed to bring the two brands to sell in Southeast Asia.

Thai Beverage, also known as ThaiBev, controlled by Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, Thailand’s second-richest man, is aiming to expand into Southeast Asian countries, especially Vietnam, Thapana said.

Thai Bev, one of Southeast Asia’s largest drinks companies, took control of F&N in 2013.

The sale of the Peroni and Grolsch brands, which sources said AB InBev wants to wrap up by the beginning of March, is aimed at easing anti-trust approval for AB InBev’s US$100 billion-plus takeover of SABMiller.