Carlsberg, Habeco make breakthroughs in negotiations on stake sale

Carlsberg, which currently holds a 17.34% stake in Habeco, has the right of first refusal for any stake sale from the Hanoi-based beer company, expressed interest in raising the stake, but discussions have dragged for years.

Carlsberg, Habeco make breakthroughs in negotiations on stake sale

Vietnam’s second-largest domestic brewer Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage (Habeco) and its strategic investor Denmark’s Carlsberg have made breakthroughs in negotiations for the former’s stake sale after 13 meetings in 2018, BizLIVE reported.

The results of the negotiations have been submitted to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) for review and approval, said Tran Dinh Thanh, Habeco’s chairman.

In a response to Hanoitimes, Carlsberg said it had no further comment at this stage.

Since 2016, the Vietnamese government has planned to divest its entire 81.79% stake in Habeco, under which the MoIT acts as state capital representative.

Carlsberg, which currently holds a 17.34% stake in Habeco, has the right of first refusal for any stake sale from the Hanoi-based beer company, expressed interest in raising the stake, but discussions have dragged for years.

 

The major hurdle in the negotiations is believed to be the high share price set by Habeco that exceeds Carlsberg's valuation, as such, it is vital for the two sides to work out the deal before Habeco can proceed with the further unloading of its shares on the stock market.

On this matter, in a previous response to Hanoitimes, Carlsberg's representative stressed that the company supports the government's divestment agenda, thus, "we endeavor to serve as a loyal partner for the government throughout the divestment process."

"Carlsberg has been a strategic investor since 2008 with pre-emption right. However, this does not necessarily mean that we should not pay a fair price for a state asset. We recognize that Hanoi beer brand is a good brand, Habeco is a good company, and we are willing to pay a fair price for acquiring the asset," the representative added.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in last meeting with Carlsberg’s CEO Cees’t Hart in last September, said he welcomes the Danish brewer to purchase additional stake in Habeco.

Vietnam is speeding up the equitization process, which is an opportunity for foreign investors, including Carlsberg, added Phuc. Hanoitimes

 
 

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