12:06 (GMT +7) - Friday 28/07/2017

Business

Habeco & Sabeco sale plans set for this month

Released at: 16:34, 14/07/2017

Habeco & Sabeco sale plans set for this month

Illustrative image (Source: cafebiz.vn)

Two brewers to submit plans on sale of State stake during July.

by Duy Anh

Additional stake sales in the Saigon Beer Alcohol and Beverage Corp. (Sabeco) and the Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage Corp. (Habeco) are to be publicly offered. While the former’s divestment plan is due before July 31, the latter is set to submit its final plan to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) next week.

“The industry expects the sale of State capital in both brewers to be conducted this year,” Deputy Director General of the Light Industry Department under MoIT, Mr. Bui Truong Thang, told the ministry’s regular press conference on July 14.

As VET reported earlier, Carlsberg CEO Mr. Cees’t Hart said the Danish brewer has been waiting for an update from the government over an additional stake in Habeco, expected in the second quarter.

With the new deadline for Habeco now set, it can be confirmed that negotiations between Carlsberg and MoIT have reached mutual agreement, and that the government may have given approval to sell Habeco at a more “reasonable” price.

Carlsberg, which has owned 17 per cent of Habeco since 2009, second only to the State’s holding of 82 per cent, has priority purchase rights for a 60 per cent stake and is keen to publicly bid for the remainder of the available shares, according to an earlier proposal from the Danish brewer.

After a period where speculative buying on very thin volumes did not accurately reflect the underlying value of the business, Habeco’s share price swung from a high of VND225,800 ($9.93) per share on December 12 to a low of VND73,000 ($3.2) on April 4. On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), Sabeco closed at VND77,200 ($3.4) per share on July 14, putting its market value at $787.2 million.

The story is much more unpredictable at Sabeco. According to the initial and now obsolete plan, the State was to retain 89.59 per cent, worth at least $1.8 billion, and would offload its holding in two phases: 53.59 per cent in 2016 and the remaining 36 per cent sometime this year. 

The size of the Sabeco stake sale is still to be clarified, with earlier reports from those in the know putting the figure at least 40 per cent in one sale.

As with Habeco, Sabeco has been equitized before, with the State selling 5 per cent to Dutch brewer Heineken in 2008. The southern brewer commands the local market, enjoying a rising 40 per cent market share; one and a half-times higher than its nearest competitor, Heineken NV, with 30 per cent, and well ahead of Habeco, with 18 per cent and falling.

Seven companies, including Heineken NV, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, and the Asahi Group Holdings, have already registered to bid for Sabeco, which listed about 641.3 million shares at an initial price of VND110,000 ($4.84) on December 6. With its shares closing at VND211,500 ($9.3) on July 14, Sabeco’s market capitalization stood at $5.97 billion, the second-highest in the country after Vinamilk.

Known for 12 loss-making projects, MoIT is now the leading ministry in Vietnam’s equitization race, with three divestment plans for the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN), Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), and Vietnam National Chemical Group (Vinachem) having been submitted to the government, while the plan for the Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corp. (Vinacomin) is currently being finalized for submission to the Prime Minister this month. 

User comment (0)

Send comment
Paradise_160x600
Paradise_160x600