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Heineken makes US$4.1 bil. bid for APB

SINGAPORE -- Dutch beer group Heineken on Friday announced a SG$5.1 billion (US$4.1 billion) bid for Singapore's Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) to boost its presence in the region's booming alcohol market.

Heineken said it had offered to pay SG$50 a share for APB parent Fraser & Neave's (F&N) entire stake in the brewer, a premium of SG$8 over its Thursday closing price.

Analysts said the move could trigger a takeover battle with Thai and Japanese investors for control of APB, which makes Tiger beer and other brands that are popular across Asia, including the Chinese market.

F&N said in a statement it was considering the Heineken offer “which remains open for acceptance” until July 27.

“There is no certainty that any transaction or agreement will be entered into as at the time of this announcement,” it added.

Trading of shares in APB and F&N was halted at the Singapore Exchange on Friday after Heineken made its bid public.

Heineken and F&N have been longtime partners in Asia.

Heineken currently owns 41.9 percent of APB, one of Southeast Asia's biggest brewers, while F&N holds 40 percent.

Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings owns 14.7 percent of F&N.

“Heineken's offer is in line with the company's strategy to expand its presence in emerging markets,” the Dutch brewer it said in a statement issued from Amsterdam.

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In this March 28 file photo, a truck driver delivers Heineken beer and other drinks in New York. Heineken, a Dutch brewing company based in Amsterdam, said July 20, it is offering US$4.1 billion to buy out its partner in the Singapore-based maker of Tiger beer, attempting to neutralize a Thai tycoon's competing bid for influence over the brand as the Dutch brewer expands in emerging markets. (AP)

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