F&N climbs above Charoen offer
- Published: 14/09/2012 at 11:53 AM
- Online news:
SINGAPORE - Fraser & Neave Ltd (FNN) rose above Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's offer price as investors speculated that the Singapore-based company may attract a higher bid and Heineken NV (HEIA) considered its next step in a two-month battle to gain control of F&N's beer business.
F&N advanced 4.8% to S$8.92 at the close of trading in Singapore on Thursday after a company linked to Charoen's Thai Beverage Pcl (THBEV) offered S$8.88 a share for the 70% of the company that he does not control. The bid, which potentially blocks Heineken from buying Tiger beer maker Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd (APB), values the company at $10.3 billion. F&N rose in Singapore trading on Friday.
"There's a prospect that someone can come in with a better offer," Justin Harper, a Singapore-based market strategist at IG Markets, said in a phone interview. "There’s also the prospect that if Charoen takes over F&N they will unlock a lot more value by breaking the company up."
Charoen, 68, set off a scramble for F&N and its assets when he agreed to buy a stake in July. Heineken countered with a bid for F&N's 40% stake in APB, which the Dutch brewer already partially owns. Charoen has not explained the rationale behind his offer, which comes ahead of a Sept 28 meeting where F&N shareholders will vote on Heineken's proposal.
"Thai Bev's plans for FNN if it manages to buy out a majority stake remains unclear," Jenai Chua, a Singapore-based analyst at Bank Julius Baer & Co, which manages $281 billion in assets, said by e-mail. "We would not rule out the possibility that it is trying to block the sale of APB to Heineken."
F&N advanced 0.6% to $8.970 at 9.37am in Singapore trading, boosting its climb this year to 45%.
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