Heineken makes US$4.1 bil. bid for APB
By Martin Abbugao ,AFP
July 21, 2012, 12:05 am TWN
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.