Thai ty­coon Charoen eyes KFC stake, in­clud­ing EPF’s

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

JUST two months after an­nounc­ing the takeover of Thai­land’s KFC restau­rants, Thai ty­coon Tan Sri Charoen Siri­vad­han­ab­hakdi, who con­trols Thai Bev­er­age pcl, is be­lieved to be mak­ing a move to buy a sub­stan­tial stake in QSR Brands (M) Hold­ings Sdn Bhd.

QSR op­er­ates over 750 KFC restau­rants in Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore, Cam­bo­dia and Brunei as well as over 450 Pizza Hut restau­rants in Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore.

Jo­hor Corp holds 51% stake in QSR, with the Em­ploy­ees Prov­i­dent Fund (EPF) and CVC Cap­i­tal Part­ners Ltd, a pri­vate eq­uity firm, hold­ing 25% and 24%.

Ac­cord­ing to a source, Charoen plans to ac­quire the EPF’s and CVC’s stakes. Sources told StarBiz that CVC, which has a five-year time frame to exit its in­vest­ment, would be keen to sell while the EPF would sell if the price is right.

For CVC, it would be ap­pro­pri­ate to exit as the time frame of its in­vest­ment in KFC ends early next year.

This is on the score that it was part of the con­sor­tium that in­cluded Jo­hor Corp and EPF that took QSR Brands and its listed sub­sidiary, KFC Hold­ings (M) Bhd, pri­vate in early 2013.

A pri­vate eq­uity such as CVC has a time frame of five years be­fore it ex­its.

Sources said Charoen was keen to di­ver­sify the op­er­a­tions of his flag­ship Thai Bev­er­age, best known as the pro­ducer of Chang beer, as well as ex­pand re­gion­ally.

The stake in QSR will give him ac­cess to mar­kets be­yond Thai­land, in­clud­ing data on con­sumer trends in the fast grow­ing Asean re­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to news re­ports, Thai Bev­er­age’s US$340mil (RM1.43bil) ac­qui­si­tion of Thai­land’s KFC busi­ness would be com­pleted by the end of the year. This would see the Sin­ga­pore-listed Thai Bev­er­age own­ing 240 KFC restau­rants as well as other out­lets in the pipe­line.

Any move to buy a sub­stan­tial stake in the KFC fran­chise would cer­tainly need the bless­ing of Yum! Brands Inc, the US-based owner of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell fran­chise brands.

Yum! has many con­di­tions for stake­hold­ers of its fran­chises.

The fact that Charoen took con­trol of the Thai KFC busi­ness means that Yum! does not have any is­sues with him tak­ing the EPF’s and CVC’s stakes in QSR.

Charoen made the head­lines in early 2013 when he won con­trol of Sin­ga­pore-listed Fraser and Neave Ltd (F&N) in an of­fer that val­ued F&N, a bev­er­age and prop­erty com­pany, at US$11.13bil. This was after he lost the bid to con­trol Asia Pa­cific Brew­eries Ltd, an equal joint ven­ture be­tween F&N and Heineken NV, which pro­duces Tiger beer.

F&N sold its share of the ven­ture to Heineken.

Early last year, Charoen, through Thai Charoen Corp (TCC), bought a 58.6% stake in Big C Su­per­center pcl for US$3.5bil from French su­per­mar­ket op­er­a­tor Groupe Casino.

The pri­vately held TCC con­trols the busi­ness in­ter­ests of the Siri­vad­han­ab­hakdi fam­ily, which en­com­passes food and bev­er­age un­der Thai Bev­er­age while through TCC Land Co Ltd, the fam­ily has the largest land­hold­ings in Thai­land as well as nu­mer­ous real es­tate in­vest­ments over­seas in­clud­ing the Plaza Athe­nee in New York. – The Star

Photo: The Star

QSR op­er­ates over 1,200 restau­rants. Jo­hor Corp holds 51% stake in QSR, with the Em­ploy­ees Prov­i­dent Fund (EPF) and CVC Cap­i­tal Part­ners Ltd, a pri­vate eq­uity firm, hold­ing 25% and 24%. Ac­cord­ing to a source, Charoen plans to ac­quire the EPF’s and CVC’s stakes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.