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Food & Beverage

ThaiBev confirms potential beer IPO after shares jump

Chang brewer says discussions on possible listing still early

Reaching for a cold one in Bangkok: The first Chang brewery outside of Thailand started production in Myanmar in August as Thai Beverage works to expand the brand's reach.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thai Beverage, the brewer of Chang beer and a member of billionaire tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's TCC Group, acknowledged that a listing of its brewery business is one option for raising funds.

"Thai Beverage is presently evaluating strategic proposals and opportunities, including but not limited to a potential listing of its beer business, in consultation with its external advisors," it said in an announcement on Friday.

Singapore-listed Thai Beverage shares rose as high as 5.2% on Friday, reacting to a Bloomberg report on the possible listing of the beer business. Trading in the stock was later halted.

"Discussions on such strategic projects are still at exploratory or early stages," the brewer wrote. "Thai Beverage wishes to emphasize that there is no certainty or assurance that any such transactions will occur," it added.

Thai Beverage on Oct. 2 revealed that the company had restructured. Its beer business was put under the direct supervision of Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, Thai Beverage's president and CEO and the third of Charoen's five children.

"My responsibility for the beer business is to ensure that it will be able to generate organic growth and a good return on investment for the company," said Thapana in October. He said the business will seek to refinance short-term loans into medium- and long-term debt while promoting the Chang brand more broadly in Southeast Asia and beyond.

Thai Beverage's first Chang brewery outside of Thailand started production in Myanmar in August. The brewer acquired Vietnam's Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp., or Sabeco, for $4.8 billion in 2018.

According to the company's financial statement for the year ending September, the Sabeco acquisition helped lift the beer segment's revenue to 120.9 billion baht ($4 billion), up 26.5% from the previous year. Profit increased by 50% to 3.1 billion baht.

TCC Group listed its property development arm Asset World on Oct. 10 on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The company raised 41.7 billion baht from the initial public offering of its 8 billion new shares.

Reuters reported on Friday that Thai Beverage could raise $2 billion to $3 billion through a Singapore listing of its regional beer assets, citing unnamed sources.

Charoen is Thailand's fourth-richest man with a net worth of $16.2 billion, according to media estimates.

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