Charoen denies takeover bid reports
Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi has denied reports that he was preparing a counter bid for shares in Siam Makro Plc to compete with the country's richest man, Dhanin Chearavanont.
- Published: 26/04/2013 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Mr Charoen talks to his wife, Khunying Wanna, at the BJC’s shareholders’ meeting yesterday.
Mr Charoen said such a move would be outside his company's financial plan.
"Everything's ended already. Submitting a counter bid now would disrupt our financial discipline," Aswin Techajareonvikul, the president of Berli Jucker Plc (BJC), said on behalf of Mr Charoen at the company's annual general shareholders' meeting yesterday.
BJC failed to bid for a 64% stake in Makro from the Netherlands' SHV Holdings.
Mr Aswin earlier said BJC is open to new retail opportunities to be used in expanding throughout Asean more than in the domestic market.
Mr Charoen said that when buying any business, he does not like to buy up the entire stake.
Instead, he wants to be a good friend to existing shareholders or former owners so they can do business together in the future.
For example, when Mr Charoen bought Danone yoghurt company last year, he acquired only 51%.
He believes that one day Danone may hire BJC to distribute its Evian mineral water in Thailand.
But the case of Fraser and Neave Ltd (F&N) in Singapore is different. Initially, Mr Charoen did not want to buy 82.5% of F&N, but the tender offer saw him receive a bigger stake than he expected.
Mr Charoen ranked 82nd on the list of the world's top 100 billionaires in Forbes magazine early this year, with an estimated worth of US$11.7 billion.
The founder of Thai beverage firm the TCC Group just completed an $11.2-billion takeover of F&N in February.
Last year, the tycoon concluded a 15.4-billion baht deal with the purchase of a 42% stake in Pepsi-Cola bottler Sermsuk Plc.
Mr Charoen said he is very cautious about F&N's direction after his acquisition. His son Thapana has been tasked with formulating F&N management policy with an eye towards sustainable long-term growth.
"BJC turns 131 years old this year, one year older than F&N. While we consider how to take F&N beverages beyond Asean, we'll also be thinking how to pay down debt as well," said Mr Charoen.
One market analyst believes the purchase of F&N will enable TCC to use that company's marketing network in Singapore and Malaysia to distribute the Thai group's Chang beer and energy drinks.
Mr Charoen said BJC may be F&N's distributor in Thailand.
Apart from the group having more products in its portfolio, it hopes BJC will have a huge opportunity to sell more packaging if F&N branches out further.
Packaging is the foundation of BJC's operations.
Last year BJC achieved sales of 37.4 billion baht, up by 20% from 2011, for a net profit of 2.41 billion, up by 13%.
Suchada Ithijarukul, Siam Makro's chief executive, said the entry of CP All as its new major shareholder will provide much synergy to the cash-and-carry chain.
CP Group, the parent company of CP All, has been a major food supplier for Makro for years.
Makro will continue its focus on sales of foods and ingredients to mom-and-pop shops, which account for half of sales.
About 25% of Makro's sales come from hotel, restaurant and catering operations and the rest from retail customers.
Last year, the company achieved combined revenue of 115 billion baht, up by 15.3% from 2011, for a net profit of 3.55 billion, up by 14%.
Its sales are expected to grow by less than 15% this year.
Siam Makro has 60 branches nationwide.
About the author
- Writer: Pitsinee Jitpleecheep & Darana Chudasri