Thai beer and liquor giant, Thai Beverage (ThaiBev), plans to spin off and list its regional brewery unit, BeerCo, on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) mainboard. In a regulatory filing in early February, ThaiBev said that it has received a no-objection letter from SGX for the listing of nearly 20% of BeerCo.
ThaiBev did not give details of the size of the potential initial public offering (IPO). However, there are media reports noting that it could be valued at USD 2 billion, making it the biggest IPO in Singapore in about a decade.
ThaiBev said it sees a significant growth potential in its beer business, and the listing would allow BeerCo to access and raise its own funding and pursue its own business plans.
No target date yet has been given for the spinoff by the company, although, some reports had said the IPO is planned for the first half of 2021, or possibly by the second half.
ThaiBev initially targeted a mid-2020 listing, but it was put on hold after the COVID-19 pandemic impacted beer consumption as bars and restaurants closed. Launching the IPO this year signals confidence that COVID-19 restrictions will significantly ease as vaccination programs begin in South East Asia.
ThaiBev is one of South East Asia’s largest drinks makers. In Thailand, it is the second largest beer producer, while in Vietnam it is the biggest after its Vietnamese affiliate bought in 2017 a controlling stake in Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp., the country’s largest brewer, for about USD 4.8 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, BeerCo has three breweries in Thailand as well as an interest in a network of 26 breweries in Vietnam. Its business includes the production, distribution and sales of beer including the Chang and Bia Saigon brands.
(Sources: Bloomberg; Channel News Asia; Forbes; The Business Times)