ThaiBev said to resume work on unit's $2.7 billion Singapore IPO

ThaiBev is working with financial advisers to gauge investors' interest in BeerCo Ltd, said people with knowledge of the matter. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Thai Beverage is set to revive the initial public offering (IPO) of its brewery unit in Singapore after shelving the planned first-time share sale twice due to Covid-19, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The maker of Chang beer, controlled by Thailand's richest man Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, is working with financial advisers to gauge investors' interest in BeerCo, said the people.

ThaiBev, which is traded in Bangkok and Singapore, is still seeking to raise about US$2 billion (S$2.69 billion) from the brewery business's IPO, the people said, asking not to be identified as the process is private.

The sale could take place as soon as the second quarter, or ThaiBev's fiscal third quarter, though the company will have to update the unit's financial statements with the Singapore Exchange before the listing can resume, the people said.

A share sale could value the brewery arm at about US$10 billion, one of the people said.

Preparations are ongoing, details such as size and timing could change and there is no certainty that the listing will proceed, the people said.

A representative for ThaiBev declined to comment.

Should the IPO finally go ahead, it would be Singapore's biggest since the 2011 listing of Hutchison Port Holdings Trust, which raised US$5.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The deal would also give a boost to first-time share sales in Singapore, which hosted eight new listings raising US$1.06 billion in total last year, the data showed.

ThaiBev will proceed with the planned Singapore listing of shares in BeerCo "when market timing is right", and it will be part of the reorganisation of the beverage giant's business groups to "unlock market value", chief executive Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi told reporters at a briefing in Bangkok in September.

BeerCo was set up to house all of the beverage giant's beer-related activities.

Its first listing plan in May 2020 was scuppered by Thailand's lockdown in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

A second effort was thwarted by the worst wave of the country's outbreak, which started in April and prompted closures of bars and nightclubs, the CEO said.

Apart from the brewery business, ThaiBev runs distilleries that produce liquor including SangSom rum, Meridian brandy and Drummer whiskey.

It also owns about 28.5 per cent of Singapore's Fraser and Neave, which sells 100Plus soft drinks and Magnolia dairy products, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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