Kirin accepts Thai tycoon's offer for its F&N shares

JAPANESE brewer Kirin Holdings is tendering its 14.76 per cent stake in Fraser and Neave to Thai tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, boosting his already-hefty stake in the drinks and property firm.

Mr Charoen's parties Thai Beverage and TCC Assets already hold 54.01 per cent of F&N, including acceptances to his $9.55 per share general offer. So Kirin's acceptance will take Mr Charoen's stake to about 68.8 per cent.

Kirin had bought the bulk of its stake in July 2010, from Temasek Holdings.

Since then it had dispatched an executive officer, Mr Hirotake Kobayashi, to sit on the board on F&N, to "explore and discuss opportunities for collaboration in South-east Asia in line with Kirin's integrated beverages strategy".

A Kirin statement today went on to cite the "recent major change in F&N's ownership structure, weighted heavily to TCC" in Kirin's decision to sell. It said it would now be difficult to partner with F&N to implement its beverages strategy in South-east Asia.

Still, Kirin will be profiting significantly from the sale.

It paid $6.50 a unit for its shares from Temasek, and now Mr Charoen's TCC Assets will pay it $9.55.

Kirin said it will receive about $2 billion for its stake. This will secure a profit on sale of about 47 billion yen, before tax.

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