|A Sabeco beer factory in Dak Lak province's Buon Me Thuot city. (Photo: biasaigonmt.com)
Articles published by the international press and local news media in Vietnam have in recent weeks claimed the Thai beverage firm, known as ThaiBev, is seeking a buyer for its Vietnamese business.
ThaiBev President Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi planned to launch an IPO for the company’s beer division on SGX for around 12 billion USD, international press reported in late November.
The listing of the group’s beer division sparked speculations on the market that ThaiBev was seeking ways to exit from the Vietnamese firm Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Sabeco).
But the claims “are false and without merit,” the company confirmed in an announcement sent to the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX) on December 18.
ThaiBev, through its subsidiary Vietnam Beverage Co Ltd, “is confident in its business in Vietnam and remains strongly committed to making Sabeco and Bia Saigon the pride of Vietnam,” the company said.
“Vietnam continues to be one of ThaiBev’s core markets and is integral to its goal of becoming a stable and sustainable leader in Southeast Asia’s beverage industry.”
The company also emphasised that the listing of its beer business “is still at an early stage and there is no certainty or assurance that any such transaction will occur.”
ThaiBev will make further appropriate announcements to provide material developments that warrant disclosure in accordance with relevant Thai and Singaporean regulations, it said.
The company also warned shareholders and investors to “exercise caution and seek appropriate professional advice” before dealing in the company shares and securities, and “refrain from taking any action in respect of their investments which may be prejudicial to their interests.”
ThaiBev in December 2017 purchased nearly 54 percent of capital in Sabeco from Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) for approximately 5 billion USD.
After the deal, MoIT holds nearly 36 percent at the largest local brewer by market value.
In the first nine months of 2019, Sabeco posted 28.3 trillion VND (1.22 billion USD) in combined revenue and 4.28 trillion VND (184.6 million USD) in combined post-tax profit.
The earnings figures were up 10.5 percent and 23 percent on-year, respectively. After nine months, Sabeco fulfilled 73 percent and 91 percent of its full-year earnings targets, respectively.
Sabeco shares (HoSE: SAB) ended December 19 flat at 233,000 VND (10.06 USD) per share.