Vietnam eyes windfall from beer firm stake sale
HO CHI MINH CITY: Vietnam’s plan to sell its Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp stake in tranches may help the government extract the best price after the brewer’s market value surged to US$7 billion (RM30 billion).
The phased-sale will be one way for the government to get “maximum valuation” for its 90 per cent holding in the company, also known as Sabeco, according to Javier Gonzalez Lastra, a London-based analyst at Berenberg. The government expects to sell the first of three slices of its holding in the country’s biggest brewer in the fourth quarter, according to people familiar with the matter.
Heineken NV, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings Ltd are among foreign companies that have shown interest in a stake in Sabeco. An expanding Vietnamese middle class and youthful population helped drive a 300 per cent surge in beer demand since 2002.
The government is expected to approve Sabeco’s plan by the middle of next month. Additional stake sales in the company may take place through next year.
Shares of Ho Chi Minh Citybased Sabeco have more than doubled since listing in December on expectations of a stake sale. Its price-to-earnings ratio is 36, compared with about 20 for Carlsberg A/S, the Danish brewer that owns a stake in Hanoi Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp.
Sabeco’s shares have climbed 28 per cent this year through Tuesday, compared with the 19 per cent gain in the benchmark Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Stock Index. The stock dropped 1.2 per cent in trading yesterday.
Vietnam’s per-capita beer consumption will reach 40.6 liters this year, making it the biggest consumer in Southeast Asia. Bloomberg