(Reuters) – Thailand’s third-richest man has raised his stake and takeover offer for Fraser and Neave Ltd (FRNM.SI) to fend off a bid by a group led by Indonesian tycoon Stephen Riady as the battle for the Singapore property and drinks group draws towards a close.
Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi appears to have the advantage going into a formal auction that begins on Monday to decide the fate of the 130-year-old company, which sold its prized Tiger Beer brand to Heineken NV (HEIN.AS) for S$5.6 billion ($4.56 billion) last year.
The Thai gambit values F&N at nearly $11.3 billion and puts the pressure on a consortium led by Riady’s Singapore-listed property firm Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd (OVES.SI) to counter the offer or withdraw from Southeast Asia’s largest-ever corporate acquisition.
“This has extended Charoen’s advantage. He has an upper hand over OUE because he’s only about 10 percent away from gaining majority control of F&N,” said Goh Han Peng, an analyst at DMG & Partners Securities in Singapore.