BANGKOK: Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi has offered to buy an additional 10% in Fraser & Neave Ltd (F&N) from at least two funds as he competes for control of the Singapore company, said three people with knowledge of the matter.
The deal was not completed, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Charoen, who already owns about 35% of F&N, enlisted Citigroup Inc to help boost his holding, they said.
Citigroup contacted institutional investors starting Dec 14, offering to buy 144 million F&N shares at S$9.60 (RM24.05) apiece, two of the people said. That is 8% over Charoen’s earlier S$8.88 bid for the company.
Vichate Tantiwanich, a spokesman for Charoen’s Thai Beverage Plc, the largest shareholder in F&N, and Richard Tesvich, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for Citigroup, declined to comment on the attempted acquisition.
Shares in F&N rose 0.5% to a 52-week high of S$9.62 at 10:53am Singapore time yesterday. The stock has surged 55% this year.
The attempt, which would have raised Charoen’s stake in F&N to about 45%, comes as his effort to seek control of the soft drinks and real estate company are being challenged by Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd. The billionaire has sought control of F&N since July when he first agreed to buy a stake in the company.
A group led by OUE offered S$9.08 a share for F&N on Nov 15. — Bangkok Post
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Dec 18, 2012.