Carlsberg partner acquires Lao Brewery

Carlsberg in May made a major investment in Lao Brewery. The acquisition of shares in the brewery was made by two separate companies: Carlsberg Brewery Hong Kong Ltd, a subsidiary of Carlsberg Asia, and TCC International (HK), a subsidiary of Thailand-based TCC, which is the holding company of Carlsberg partner, whisky tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi.
Thanit Thamsukhati, a spokesman for Mr Charoen, declined to disclose any details of the deal. Margrethe Skov, public affairs director of Carlsberg SG in Denmark, told the Bangkok Post in a telephone interview that Mr Charoen owned a 50% share in Carlsberg Asia.
The two companies entered into an agreement to each acquire 25% of the Lao Brewery. The remaining shares are held by the government of Laos. Ms Skov said the three partners had agreed not to disclose the acquisition price.
Lao Brewery was upgraded recently through the addition of a new automatic brewhouse and packaging lines.
The current yearly production is 600,000 hectolitres, with a capacity of one million hl. The only brewery in Laos, it has a 98% market share.
The population of Laos is 5.6 million with a yearly growth rate of 2.5%. Yearly economic growth is estimated at 4%, and beer consumption is expected to increase as a result.
In Thailand, Mr Charoen dominates the beer market as his Chang beer, produced by Beer Thai (1991) Co, controls about 60% of the local beer market. Carlsberg, produced by Carlsberg (Thailand) Co, a joint venture between TCC and Carlsberg of Denmark, has an insignificant share in the market.
Since last year, Mr Charoen has taken over several businesses, including John Hancock Life Insurance and Southeast Insurance; Syn Bualuang Co, a service affiliate of Bangkok Bank; Berli Jucker Plc, Thai Amarit Brewery, and NCC Management Co, which operates the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.
He also owns the Hotel Plaza Athenee, the Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel and other hotels in the Imperial Group. As well, Chang Beer financially backed DhoSpaak Communication, the holder of the World Cup broadcasting rights.
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