Thai Beverage Billionaire Revives Plan To List Regional Beer Unit In Singapore

Thai Beverage—controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi—has revived plans to list its regional beer business on the Singapore bourse, with the move seen boosting the growth potential of its brewery unit and the group.

“The board sees significant growth potential in the beer business and believes that the potential can better be developed with a dedicated board of directors and management team focused solely on growing the beer business,” Thai Beverage said Thursday in a regulatory filing to the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Under the plan, Thai Beverage will spin off the brewery business—comprising breweries in Thailand and Vietnam and beer brands such as Chang, Archa and Bia Saigon—into a separate company. The Singapore-listed food and beverage giant will sell about 20% of the beer company through an initial public offering.

Thai Beverage had previously planned to raise about $2 billion from the IPO of the beer business last year but the company called it off due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Reuters. The beer business generated a net profit of S$342 million ($248 million) on revenue of S$4.2 billion in the year ended September 2021, it said.

The spin-off will enable the beer company to fund its own expansion plans and help strengthen parent Thai Beverage financially, allowing the group to better utilize its financial resources to grow its other businesses, which includes non-alcoholic beverages, the packaging business as well as the Oishi restaurant chain, Thai Beverage said. It will also enhance the value of Thai Beverage, whose shares jumped more than 4% to S$0.70 in afternoon trading in Singapore.

“The proposed spin-off listing will provide a transparent valuation benchmark for the spin-off business under the beer company group and will allow the core businesses of the Thai Beverage group to be assessed and valued more distinctly,” Thai Beverage said. “Thai Beverage believes that the beer company group’s position as one of the leading beer players in Southeast Asia and its growth potential offer a distinct and compelling growth story.”

Apart from Thai Beverage, Charoen is also the controlling shareholder of Singapore’s Frasers Property, Thai hypermarket chain Big C Supercenter and hotel operator Asset World. He was ranked No. 3 on the list of Thailand’s 50 Richest that was published in July last year, with a net worth of $12.7 billion.

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