F&N won't distribute APB gains till after takeover bids

SINGAPORE Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:06am EST

SINGAPORE Nov 16 (Reuters) - Fraser and Neave said on Friday it will distribute gains from the sale of Tiger Beer maker Asia Pacific Breweries to shareholders only after the Singapore property and drinks conglomerate is no longer the subject of a takeover offer.

F&N is now the subject of rival bids from Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's TCC Assets and a rival group led by property and hotel group Overseas Union Enterprise.

"Following the divestment of (the APB) interests, the board is exploring all options available to it to distribute a portion of the sale proceeds to shareholders, after F&N is no longer the subject of a takeover offer," the company said in a statement.

F&N, which sold its share in APB to Heineken NV earlier this year, had originally wanted to distribute around S$4 billion to shareholders by way of capital reduction.

But the proposal was vetoed by the Thais, who at that time controlled about 31 percent of F&N. The capital reduction required the approval of three quarters of shareholders.

Instead, F&N has recommended a final dividend of 12 Singapore cents per share, which together with the interim dividend of 6 Singapore cents, brings the total dividend for the year to 18 Singapore cents, unchanged from last year.

F&N on Friday also reported a profit after tax of S$1.01 billion ($824.83 million) for the financial year ended Sept 30, down slightly from S$1.13 billion in the previous year. ($1 = 1.2245 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Kevin Lim)