Carlsberg May Finally Buy Shares In Vietnam

Carlsberg will now be able to buy the shares which the Hanoi-based brewer, known as Habeco, wasn’t able to sell in an initial public offering on March 27.
    The government raised only VND198.5 billion (US$12.3 million) from the share sale compared with the VND1.74 trillion ($108 million) the company had anticipated. Of the 34.8 million shares on offer, bids were made for only 4 million.
“Carlsberg is permitted to increase its stake about 16 percent beyond the 10 percent agreed on earlier,’’ Chairman Le Ba Co said.
The purchase of buy the shares at VND50,000 ($3.10) each, will probably be completed this month.
“It should be sold in April as we plan to hold a shareholder meeting in May,’’ Co said.
Habeco’s March 27 auction is the next planned IPO, following share sales earlier this year by Vietcombank and Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverages Corp.
The deal is a part of the Vietnamese privatization process. Almost three years 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 began.
However, several of Carlsberg’s global competitors also declared their interest in the rapidly growing beer market in Vietnam, so the Danish company faced intense challenges from other companies in the courting process.
Carlsberg is currently the third largest brewery on Vietnam’s booming beer market. The investment in Habeco Brewery in Hanoi will make the Danish company a market leader in the entire northern Vietnam.

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