Overseas Union-led group misses deadline for F&N counterbid-sources

SINGAPORE Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:51am EST

SINGAPORE Jan 21 (Reuters) - A group led by Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd missed a Monday evening deadline set by the Singapore securities watchdog to announce a counterbid for property and drinks conglomerate Fraser and Neave Ltd (F&N) , sources said.

They said this effectively means the Overseas Union-led group is unlikely to raise its offer of S$9.08 per share, potentially bowing out of the takeover battle against Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi for F&N.

The sources declined to be named, citing confidentiality. A spokesman for Overseas Union declined comment.

Charoen had increased his takeover offer for F&N to S$9.55 per share and raised his stake in the company to more than 40 percent.

The Thai gambit had put pressure on the Overseas Union-led consortium, helmed by Indonesian tycoon Stephen Riady, to counter the offer or withdraw from Southeast Asia's biggest corporate acquisition.

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