Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – The Saigon Beer – Alcohol Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) early this week announced that it received an official letter from the State Securities Commission dated Monday approving unrestricted foreign ownership at the largest beverage company in Việt Nam.
Accordingly, the foreign ownership cap of 49 per cent at Sabeco would be removed and the maximum rate of foreign ownership would be 100 per cent, the company said.
Sabeco’s board of directors approved unrestricted foreign ownership on October 30 after removing business lines which required foreign ownership caps.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade currently holds a stake of 36 per cent at Sabeco and Vietnam Beverage - a legal entity established by Thai Bev in Việt Nam to avoid the cap of 49 per cent for foreign investors – holds a controlling stake of 53.59 per cent after a US$5 billion acquisition deal at the end of 2017. Vietnam Beverage’s acquisition of more than 343.6 million shares of Sabeco was the largest deal in Southeast Asia over the past three years.
Other stakeholders own 10.41 per cent of the company.
Vietnam Beverage has charter capital of VNĐ682 billion ($29.7 million).
Foreign ownership at Sabeco might not increase to 100 per cent immediately, since the Ministry of Industry and Trade has not revealed any plans to sell its remaining stake. However, the unrestricted foreign ownership could help ThaiBev become a direct stakeholder at Sabeco.
In the first nine months of this year, Sabeco reported revenue of VNĐ25.5 trillion, a rise of 7.8 per cent over the same period last year, while pre-tax profit dropped by more than six per cent to VNĐ3.3 trillion.
The company targets to earn pre-tax profit of around VNĐ4 trillion for the full year, 19 per cent lower than last year.
Sabeco holds a market share of 42 per cent in Việt Nam, making it the largest beverage company in the country.
Shares of Sabeco were traded at VNĐ245,500 each on Wednesday, a significant drop from VNĐ320,000 each that Vietnam Beverage paid to acquire its stake in the company.
In July 2016, Việt Nam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk) was given a nod to remove the cap for foreign ownership. — VNS