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Thai brewer in US$7 bil. conglomerate offer as battle for ownership heats up

BANGKOK -- Thai Beverage said Thursday it is offering US$7.2 billion for control of Asian drinks conglomerate Fraser & Neave Ltd., stepping up a battle with Heineken NV for ownership of Tiger Beer and other popular regional brews.

The Thai company, controlled by billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, is offering to pay SG$8.88 a share for the 70 percent of Singapore-listed Fraser & Neave it doesn't already own. That would be a total outlay of SG$8.8 billion (US$7.2 billion).

Charoen and Heineken have been vying for control of the Tiger Beer brewer, Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd., which is currently jointly owned by Fraser & Neave and Heineken.

Heineken last month raised its offer for a controlling stake in APB to nearly US$4.5 billion after Thai Beverage scooped up sizeable stakes in both APB and Fraser & Neave.

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