A company linked to Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi has extended a deadline for Singapore-listed conglomerate Fraser and Neave (F&N) to accept an offer to buy its direct stake in the makers of Tiger Beer, F&N said Tuesday.
F&N said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange it now has until the end of business on August 24 to accept the offer of Thailand’s Kindest Place for its 7.3 percent stake in Asia Pacific Breweries (APB).
Kindest Place, owned by a son-in-law of Charoen, last week made the unsolicited offer to buy F&N’s direct stake in APB – which brews Tiger Beer – for Sg$55 ($44.07) a share and set August 16 as a deadline.
The offer represents a 10 percent premium over an earlier proposal by Dutch brewer Heineken to buy the entire 40 percent direct and indirect shares of its long-time partner F&N.
“Further to the initial announcement, the company wishes to announce that KPGL (Kindest Place Groups Ltd) has agreed to extend the deadline for acceptance of the offer to 5:00 pm on 24 August 2012,” F&N said.
Kindest Place already owns 8.6 percent of APB and a successful bid would raise its stake to nearly 16 percent.
F&N’s board had accepted Heineken’s Sg$5.1 billion offer and agreed to recommend it to shareholders, but the bid hit a rough patch when companies linked to the Thai beverages tycoon Charoen put up the challenge.
Charoen’s own company, Thai Beverage, which makes Chang Beer, has also been building its stakes in F&N, announcing it has increased its stake in the company to over 26 percent from 24 percent, which would give it a bigger say on Heineken’s offer.
Heineken, which already owns 42 percent of APB, hopes to gain full control of the Asian brewer in a bid to expand its presence in the fast-growing region as beer demand wanes in its traditional Western markets.
F&N has said it would recommend the Heineken offer during an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders which has yet to be set, but analysts say the Thai challenge has complicated the bid.