ThaiBev seeks up to $1.37b in revived Singapore IPO of beer unit: Source

ThaiBev is one of South-east Asia's largest makers of drinks and counts the popular Chang lager among its key brands. PHOTO: THAIBEV

SINGAPORE (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - Singapore-listed Thai Beverage is looking to raise as much as US$1 billion (S$1.37 billion) through the revived Singapore initial public offering (IPO) of its regional beer business this year, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday (May 5).

The size of the potential fund-raising has been halved from a year ago because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and decreased market valuations, said the sources.

ThaiBev, the maker of Chang lager, declined comment on the funding amount.

Controlled by tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, ThaiBev is one of South-east Asia’s largest makers of drinks.

Earlier on Thursday, the company said in a regulatory filing that it had restarted work to list its regional beer unit, BeerCo, and would look to sell up to a 20 per cent stake through the Singapore IPO.

A third source familiar with the matter said ThaiBev could end up raising about US$800 million, adding that the launch of the IPO was subject to market conditions.

A successful IPO would mark one of the largest listings on the Singapore bourse in years. The biggest was the 2011 listing of Hutchison Port Holdings Trust, which raised US$5.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

BeerCo, which comprises ThaiBev’s brewing operations in Thailand and Vietnam, had initially planned a listing in early 2020 but that was derailed by the onset of the pandemic.

Shares of ThaiBev jumped on the news of the renewed IPO on Thursday, with the stock trading three cents, or 4.4 per cent, higher at 70.5 cents as at 11.44am.

“The board sees significant growth potential in the beer business and believes that the potential can better be developed with a dedicated board of directors and management team focused solely on growing the beer business,” the company said on Thursday.

ThaiBev said it intends to retain a significant majority stake in the beer business after the spin-off, and will use part of the proceeds generated from the stake sale to repay interest-bearing debt.

ThaiBev added that it has received confirmation from the Singapore Exchange that the no-objection letter will continue to apply.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.