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ThaiBev joins Sabeco board after Gov’t steps in

Update: April, 24/2018 - 08:00
Koh Poh Tiong (left), chairman of Thai Beverage-owned Beer Group, was added to the Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation’s management board at an extraordinary meeting on April 23. ThaiBev owns 53.59 per cent of Sabeco. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Shareholders of the Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) voted to add three new members to the management board, including one from Thai Beverage Public Co Ltd, at an extraordinary general meeting yesterday.

All three are foreigners.

Koh Poh Tiong, a Singaporean national, is chairman of the Thai Beverage-owned Beer Group, which owns a 49 per cent stake in Vietnam Beverage.

Malcolm Tan Tiang Hing, CEO of Shanghai-based alcoholic beverages distributor Dxcel International, and Sunyaluck Chaikajornawat of Thai law firm Weerawong Chinnavat & Partners Ltd, were elected as independent members.

The meeting was held after the Ministry of Industry and Trade had told Sabeco to “tackle its personnel matters” after ThaiBev sent a letter to the Government expressing concern that it has not been directly involved in Sabeco’s management until now despite owning 53.59 per cent of its charter capital.

In December 2017, ThaiBev, through its subsidiary Vietnam Beverage Co Ltd, had bought the stake for nearly US$5 billion through an auction at the HCM Stock Exchange.

Also at the meeting, more than 94 per cent of the shareholders voted to dismiss chairman Võ Thanh Hà.

The brewer has also been in the news recently after being told by the Ministry of Finance to pay around VNĐ2.5 trillion (US$111 million) worth of undistributed profit to the Government.

The amount is part of Sabeco’s VNĐ2.7 trillion in undistributed profits and the dividend the Government should have received from Sabeco for its 89.6 per cent ownership of the company as of December 31, 2016.

After selling more than a 50 per cent stake to ThaiBev, the Government now has 36 per cent.

This tax issue is expected to be discussed at Sabeco’s annual general meeting in June.—VNS

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