Kirin Holdings Co Ltd, one of Japan’s largest brewers and beverage companies, has announced that it is selling its entire 15% stake in the Singaporean food and drink company Fraser and Neave (F&N) for roughly $1.6 billion. As F&N’s second largest shareholder, Kirin will be offloading the company to Thailand’s TCC Assets Ltd, owned by the country’s third-richest man, billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, who is already on his way to gaining full control.
In Kirin’s statement, the conglomerate said it is expecting to make a pretax profit of around 47 billion yen (approx. $515 million). The Japanese company purchased its stake in F&N in 2012 for about $970 million, but as TCC already has 54% ownership, Kirin has been under pressure recently to sell to the Thai tycoon. While the brewer was looking to expand its strategy in the Southeast Asian market, Kirin decided it would be difficult to do so with F&N as a core partner, and already being heavily owned by TCC. The share sale is expected to be completed by February 14th.
A spokeswoman for Kirin said the company has not decided yet how the profits from F&N will be used. But it’s probably a safe bet that the company will focus its efforts on assets in Thailand and Vietnam, as well as continue its overseas expansion into new markets in order to balance the contracting Japanese market.[via The Star]