Heineken no longer a major shareholder of Sabeco

By Phuong Dong   November 15, 2019 | 08:47 am PT
Heineken no longer a major shareholder of Sabeco
Bottles of Sabeco's Saigon beer are seen at a restaurant bar in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
Dutch brewer Heineken sold over 5 million Sabeco shares Friday, bringing its stake in Vietnam’s biggest brewer Sabeco down to 4.32 percent.

The shares, equivalent to an approximate 0.81 percent stake, were sold to buyers whose identities have not been disclosed via an agreement, the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) reported.

The sale was worth over VND1.2 trillion ($51.79 million), at VND234,000 ($10.1) per share (ticker: SAB), VND18,000 ($0.78) lower than its stock opening price Friday, according to HoSE.

On the stock market, the Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation's SAB shares have been falling or stalling for the last 12 consecutive sessions.

The remaining 4.32 percent stake in the Vietnamese brewer is held by Heineken, its regional subsidiary Heineken Asia Pacific, and related companies.

Sabeco is owned 53.59 percent by Vietnam Beverage, a subsidiary of Thai beverage company ThaiBev. The Vietnamese government, represented by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, owns a 36 percent stake in the company.

Thaibev had bought its stake in Sabeco when the government publicly auctioned them in December 2017. At the time, Heineken, who had held shares in Sabeco since 2008, also submitted a bid but lost to Thaibev.

According to a report by securities firm FPTS Securities, Heineken’s share of the Vietnam beer market at the end of 2018 was 23 percent, second to Sabeco at 40.9 percent.

In its latest financial report, Sabeco reported revenues of over VND28.3 trillion ($1.22 billion) in nine months, up 10 percent year-on-year. Revenue from beer in the period accounted for 86 percent of total, or VND24.3 trillion ($1.05 billion).

In the third quarter alone, post-tax profit was highest among all brewers in Vietnam at almost VND1.46 trillion ($63 million), up over 40 percent year-on-year.

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