, THE HAGUE, Sep 19 – Dutch beer giant Heineken said on Wednesday it was buying a further 8.6 percent of top Asian brewer APB, meaning it will soon own over 90 percent of the company and gain a critical edge in Asia.
“Heineken has entered into an agreement with Kindest Place Groups Limited to acquire KPG’s 22,207,130 shares in Asia Pacific Breweries Limited, representing 8.6% of the total issued share capital of APB,” a statement said.
The deal, to be completed not later than October 1, is worth around 740 million euros ($962 million).
Kindest Place Groups is controlled by the son-in-law of tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, who controls Thai Beverage (ThaiBev) and TCC Assets that just agreed to support Heineken’s bid to gain control of Asia-Pacific Breweries.
Heineken in turn promised not to make a counter-offer for APB’s parent company Fraser and Neave (F&N), which the Thais want to take over.
Heineken already owns 42 percent of Singapore-based APB and offered Sg$5.6 billion ($4.6 billion) for the 40 percent stake held by F&N.
This has to be ratified at an extraordinary general meeting of F&N shareholders on September 28.
Until Wednesday’s compromise was announced, Heineken’s bid was in doubt after ThaiBev and TCC Assets, which jointly own 30 percent of F&N, last week offered other owners Sg$8.7 billion to take over the group.
In a joint statement to the Singapore Exchange, the Thais promised to vote in favour of Heineken’s offer while the Dutch brewer said it “irrevocably undertakes not to make a general offer” for F&N.
Heineken had been forced to raise its original offer price of Sg$50 a share for APB shares to fend off the Thai billionaire and parties linked to him which were building up stakes in the Singapore brewer.
Shares of APB reached a morning high of Sg$53.05 in Singapore after Wednesday’s joint announcement.
APB, the crown jewel of F&N, makes Tiger Beer and other popular brands in Asia, where beer consumption is rapidly growing as sales taper off in mature markets like Europe, Heineken’s traditional base.