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APB Bottomline Declines in 3QFY2012 amid Heineken, Thai Beverage Bidding War

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by Ernie B. Calucag

Asia Pacific Breweries, the Singapore-based brewer that is now a target of two foreign breweries, reported an 11.7-per cent fall in third quarter net income.

Net income for the quarter ending June declined to S$91.2 million from S$103.2 million a year earlier, the Tiger beer maker said in a statement Friday.

Fraser & Neave, which holds a 40 per cent stake in Asia Pacific Breweries, reported a 16-per cent decline in profit after tax for the fiscal third quarter to S$185 million.

Kindest Place Groups, owned by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s son-in-law, on Tuesday offered to buy a 7.3 per cent stake in the Singapore-based company from Fraser & Neave for S$55 a share. The offer valued F&N’s APB shares at S$1.03 billion.

The Thai investment vehicle already owns 8.6 per cent stake or 22 million shares in APB. Its offer will lapse on August 16.

That topped the S$50 a share that Heineken, which already owns 42 per cent of APB, offered F&N for the 40 per cent holding, a proposal that was recommended by the board of F&N.

Heineken hopes a successful takeover of APB would give it a leg up over rivals in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market of some 600 million consumers.

Apart from Tiger, brands such as Charoen’s Chang Beer, San Miguel from the Philippines and Indonesia’s Bintang, also owned by APB, are competing with Heineken, Denmark’s Carlsberg and other brands from developed economies.

Fraser & Neave shares climbed 0.94 per cent to close at S$8.57 Friday. Asia Pacific Breweries, meanwhile, dropped 2.88 per cent to close at S$50.99.


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