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TEXT-S&PBulletin: Thai Bev Rating Unaffected By F&N Board Decision
(The following was released by the rating agency)
SINGAPORE (Standard & Poor's) Aug. 6, 2012--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that its ratings on Thai Beverage Public Co. Ltd. (Thai Bev, BBB/Watch Neg/--; axA/Watch Neg/axA-2) are unaffected by Fraser and Neave Ltd.'s (F&N, not rated) decision to recommend that its shareholders approve the sale of F&N's stake in Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd. (APB, not rated) to Heineken N.V. (BBB+/Watch Neg/A-2).
It remains unclear how F&N would use the sale proceeds if the transaction gets shareholders' approval, and how--and if--the use of proceeds could affect Thai Bev's financial risk profile. We still expect Thai Bev's financial risk profile to weaken following the debt-funded acquisition of a 24.1% stake in F&N in July 2012. We expect to resolve the CreditWatch status on Thai Bev when we have further clarity on the company's strategy and financial policy, including its dividend payout.
On Aug. 3, 2012, F&N's board recommended that its shareholders approve an offer from Heineken to acquire F&N's direct and indirect interests in APB for Singapore dollar (S$) 5.1 billion and its interest in the non-APB assets for S$163 million.
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