Kirin hires Deutsche Bank to consider options for F&N -sources

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG, July 24 Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:27pm EDT

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG, July 24 (Reuters) - Japan's Kirin Holdings Ltd has hired Deutsche Bank to examine all options as it prepares to defend its interest in Singapore conglomerate Fraser and Neave Ltd, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Kirin owns a near 15 percent stake in F&N, the second-biggest holder behind Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd .

Last week, companies linked to a Thai billionaire agreed to pay S$3.8 billion ($3.02 billion) to buy stakes in F&N and its affiliate Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) from OCBC. That forced Dutch brewer and APB shareholder Heineken to launch a counter-bid for APB.

"All options are on the table," said one of the sources with direct knowledge of the deal. "As a major shareholder of F&N they have a lot more say," the source added.

The sources were not authorised to speak to the media. Kirin declined to comment, while Deutsche Bank was not available for an immediate comment. (Reporting by Saeed Azhar an Denny Thomas; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)