Carlsberg gets a thirst for Vietnam's state-owned brewer Habeco

By VnExoress   October 29, 2016 | 10:40 pm PT
Carlsberg gets a thirst for Vietnam's state-owned brewer Habeco
A man works at a production line of Hanoi Beer Corporation (Habeco) in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters
Negotiators will be sitting down next week, maybe over a beer, to iron out the details.

Danish brewery giant Carlsberg is looking to increase its current stake of 17.08 percent in state-owned Vietnamese brewer Habeco, a senior trade official said at a cabinet meeting on Saturday.

The Ministry of  Industry and Trade will negotiate the stake deal with Carlsberg, said Deputy Minister Hoang Quoc Vuong.

Habeco, which is the third largest brewer in Vietnam with 20 percent market share and the market leader in the north, remains 81.79 percent state-owned and is under the management of the trade ministry.

Being the only strategic shareholder in Habeco, the Danish brewer has priority purchase rights in the local brewer, the government official added.

“The negotiations will start on Monday October 31,” Vuong told the press.

Carlsberg has signed an agreement to have priority rights to purchase any Habeco stake on offer.

Habeco shares, currently floated on the secondary stock market under the code BHN, soared 40 percent on its debut on Friday.

Shares in local brewers Sabeco and Habeco have long been sought after by investors who want to buy into an area of high potential growth with an estimated annual output increase of 25 percent by 2020.

The trade ministry said dominant player Sabeco, which controls 40 percent of the local beer market, will follow in Habeco’s footsteps in the first quarter of next year.

Successful exits from Sabeco and Habeco will put about $2 billion into the nation's coffers.

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