SINGAPORE Dec 6 A group led by Singapore
property firm Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd set a Jan.
3 deadline for its S$13.1 billion ($10.8 billion) offer to buy
Fraser and Neave Ltd, as it waits out a Dec. 11
deadline for a rival bid from a Thai billionaire.
The Overseas Union-led consortium last month offered S$9.08
per share for F&N, 2.25 percent higher than an S$8.88-a-share
bid from companies linked to Thailand's third-richest man,
The market is expecting a bidding war to unfold between the
two, with F&N's shares holding roughly between S$9.30 and S$9.50
in the three weeks since the Overseas Union group announced its
bid - well above both bid prices.
The stock closed at S$9.39 on Thursday, down 0.5 percent on
Analysts say the Thai group is likely to raise its offer for
F&N, since it is keen to expand beyond its domestic market. F&N
has a property portfolio worth more than S$8 billion, as well as
a business in soft drinks that are popular in Singapore and
"Walking away is unlikely because the Thais recognised that
F&N gives them the regional platform for cross-selling
opportunities," said Goh Han Peng, an analyst at DMG & Partners
"They acquired most of the F&N stake at S$8.88 each, and
they might not want to gain just a few percent and sacrifice a
long-term opportunity," he added.
The Thai group is F&N's biggest shareholder with a 33.6
percent stake, the majority of which was bought from Singapore's
OCBC group for S$8.88 a share in July. It had also received
acceptances from F&N shareholders representing a further 1.4
The Overseas Union group's bid is conditionally backed by
Japan's Kirin Holdings Co Ltd, F&N's second-biggest
shareholder with a stake of around 14.8 percent.
Charoen, through TCC Assets and Thai Beverage PCL,
made a $7.2 billion bid in September to buy shares of F&N that
he did not own, valuing the Singapore property and drinks
company around S$12.8 billion.
The Thais have extended their offer three times from the
original Oct. 29 deadline.
($1 = 1.2175 Singapore dollars)
(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata; Editing by Edmund Klamann)