Battle for Hanoi Brewery Intensifies

The local government in Hanoi will initiate its privatization process soon, at which point the state-owned brewery Habeco will be open to negotiate with interested stakeholders. Over a year ago, Carlsberg signed a so-called “memorandum of understand” with the owners of Habeco Brewery, which should put Carlsberg in a strong position when the negotiations are to begin.
     However, several of Carlsberg’s global competitors have also declared their interest in the rapidly growing beer market in Vietnam, so the Danish company might face intense challenges from other companies in the courting process. Director of Carlsberg’s Asian operations, Mr. Jesper B. Madsen, remains confident, though, knowing that Carlsberg has assisted Habeco in various ways within the past year. He expects that – in best case scenario – the Danish brewery will be able to buy a stake of 20-30 pct. ini-tially, with hopes to later increase its ownership.
     “Our biggest problem in Vietnam right now is a lack of capacity. We are currently building a brand new brewery in Hue,” says Mr. Jesper B. Madsen.

Carlsberg is currently the third largest brewery on Vietnam’s booming beer market, but an investment in Habeco Brewery in Hanoi would make the Danish company a market leader in the entire northern Vietnam.

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