SCIC to divest three beverage giants

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Vietnam’s largest listed company Vinamilk (ticker VNM on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange) has finalised procedures to sell 3.3 per cent of the residual stake on November 10, whilst the two brewery giants Sabeco and Habeco have yet to submit their divestment plans.

State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) announced to put a 3.33 per cent stake, which is roughly equal to 48.3 million shares, in Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk) on sale on November 10.

Further details regarding the starting price will be unveiled after November 1 due to the volatility of stock prices.

According to newswire DealStreetAsia, Vinamilk’s last recorded stock price was VND148,500 ($6.54) per share which equals a total of over $9.5 billion valuation for the company.

On October 18, SCIC organised a roadshow showcasing investment opportunities in Vinamilk in Ho Chi Minh City in order to appeal to prospective investors after the divestment.

Speaking at the roadshow, Dang Thi Thu Ha, deputy head of Investment Department 3 at SCIC, asserted that the government and Ministry of Finance (MoF) would provide the most favourable conditions for the investors’ participation in the November 10 auction, pursuant to the PM’s guidelines.

Non-resident foreign investors are permitted to deposit in either Vietnamese dong or US dollar at local and international banks, which is a favourable extension considering the previous Vinamilk share sale with the sole appointed bank being Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam.

Nguyen Duc Chi, chairman of SCIC, noted that the corporation will remain the major shareholder of Vinamilk, retaining 39 per cent of the shares after the auction. He also added that holding about one third will maintain the government’s control over the company.

Thailand-based beverage firm ThaiBev recently purchased 247 million shares at Vinamilk through its subsidiary Fraser and Neave Limited with the purpose of penetrating the food and beverage industry.

Sabeco and Habeco divestment held up

Meanwhile, the divestment plan for the two large beer producers Saigon Alcohol Beer and Beverages Corporation (Sabeco) and Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage Joint Stock Corporation (Habeco) was merely drafted as requested by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

The PM marked the deadline for MoIT to submit the divestment plan of the two beer makers by October 20, according to newswire Reuters.

Prior to the call, the PM approved of a divestment of 53.59 per cent from Sabeco.

According to Dang Quyet Tien, head of MoF’s Corporate Finance Division, there is no specific schedule for the transaction to be finalised in the remaining two months of 2017.

He also exemplified that SCIC should take over the sale if MoIT did not submit the divestment scheme by September 30, according to the PM’s request.

The current hitch in Habeco’s divestment scheme remains in the negotiation process with the brewer’s strategic partner, Carlsberg.

Entitled to negotiate with Habeco before other stakeholders since 2009, Carlsberg emphasised a wish not to increase the original bid solely to raise the ownership ratio at the firm.

Habeco’s spokesperson highlighted that the pace of negotiation process with Carlsberg stayed sluggish with yet another adjusted deadline for November 15.

Sabeco is currently the second largest listed firm with a net worth of $7.6 billion, following Vinamilk with a $7.9 billion valuation.

Habeco is the country’s third largest brewer and the market leader in the northern region after Sabeco and Vietnam Brewery Limited, with the highest record of VND141,700 ($6.24) per traded share on October 4, according to Vietstock.

As of October 24, the stock price of Habeco, coded BHN, was VND109,000 ($4.08) per share.

VIR

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