Thai tycoon set to complete takeover of Singapore’s F&N

AFP, SINGAPORE

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 - Page 15

A Thai tycoon yesterday mopped up more shares of Fraser and Neave Ltd (F&N) to complete his takeover of the Singapore conglomerate after an Indonesian rival backed out of a bidding war.

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s vehicle TCC Assets is offering to buy F&N shares it does not already own at S$9.55 (US$7.80) apiece until Feb. 4, valuing the company at S$13.75 billion.

TCC Assets said in a statement shortly before noon yesterday that additional purchases had raised its stake in F&N to 42.50 percent.

It will trigger a mandatory takeover for the rest of the shares after hitting the 50 percent threshold.

Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper said would be the biggest in the city-state’s history.

F&N became a takeover target after it sold off its most prized asset, Tiger Beer maker Asia Pacific Breweries, to Dutch giant Heineken in September last year.

It still has lucrative beverages, property and publishing operations.

TCC Assets’ rival, property firm Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd (OUE), gave up the fight when it said after a final auction process was launched on Monday that it was not revising its S$13.1 billion bid tabled in November last year.

OUE is linked to Indonesian tycoon Mochtar Riady.

Monday’s auction was called by a Singapore share market watchdog after TCC Assets and OUE sought several extensions to revise their offers for F&N, causing uncertainly among its shareholders.