Beer Battle Brewing: Heineken's Bid for Tiger Beer Draws a Thai Rival

Heineken and Tiger Beer

SINGAPORE -- Heineken's $6 billion bid to take full control of Tiger Beer maker Asia Pacific Breweries faces a challenge from a group led by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, which has put in a higher bid to increase its stake in APB.

Kindest Place Groups, a vehicle owned by Charoen's son-in-law, on Tuesday made an unsolicited offer of S$55 a share to buy Singapore conglomerate Fraser and Neave's direct 7.3 percent stake in APB, F&N said in a corporate filing.

The move comes after Singapore's F&N agreed to sell its direct and indirect stake in APB to Heineken for $4.1 billion, which worked out to around $40.30 a share.

F&N controls about 40 percent of APB, most of it via a joint venture with Heineken.

Should Kindest Place succeed with its offer, it will control more than 15 percent of APB, having already agreed to buy 7.9 percent of the beer maker from Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and its insurance unit Great Eastern Holdings .

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Charoen can also try and block the sale of APB to Heineken by voting against the deal through Thai Beverage PCL, which he controls. ThaiBev, the maker of Chang Beer, is F&N's biggest shareholder with about 24 percent.

Heineken will make a general offer for the remaining APB shares after the sale by F&N is put to a shareholders' vote. F&N directors have already agreed to the deal.

Charoen and ThaiBev had not previously indicated whether they supported or opposed the sale of APB to Heineken.

Japanese beermaker Kirin, F&N's second-largest shareholder with about 15 percent, has also not made its views known.

F&N said Kindest Place's offer will lapse at 5 p.m. Singapore time on Aug 16.
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