BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai Beverage (TBEV.SI) has used its Singapore-listed unit Fraser and Neave (FRNM.SI) to bid for SABMiller’s SAB.L Peroni and Grolsch beer brands, the Thai firm’s Chief Executive Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi said on Monday.
The non-binding bid was an attempt by the group to expand into premium brands with strong market positions, Thapana told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar. He gave no details about pricing.
His comments confirmed a Reuters report last Thursday that Thai Beverage was among bidders going through to the final stages of an auction to buy the two brands in a deal that could be worth up to 3 billion euros ($3.24 billion).
Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings (2502.T), private equity firms PAI Partners and Bain Capital and European buyout fund EQT have also been shortlisted by the seller, Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR), sources with knowledge of the matter said.
“This will be an opportunity for us to increase international brands into our portfolio,” Thapana said, adding F&N aimed to bring the two brands to sell in Southeast Asia.
Thai Beverage, also known as ThaiBev, controlled by Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, Thailand’s second-richest man, is aiming to expand into Southeast Asian countries, especially Vietnam, Thapana said.
Thai Bev, one of Southeast Asia’s largest drinks companies, took control of F&N in 2013.
The sale of the Peroni and Grolsch brands, which sources said AB InBev wants to wrap up by the beginning of March, is aimed at easing anti-trust approval for AB InBev’s $100 billion-plus takeover of SABMiller.
Reporting by Manunphattr Dhanananphorn; Writing by Khettiya Jittapong; editing by Susan Thomas and Adrian Croft