Thai Beverage: Brewery unit's SGX IPO not a 'certainty'

A 29 November Bloomberg article had reported that the food and beverage company was looking to list its beer business on the Singapore bourse.

Thai Beverage Public Company Limited has clarified on an earlier report that it was planning to list its brewery business on the Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX).

It was reported in a Bloomberg articled dated 29 November 2019 that the beverage producer was considering a S$3 billion initial public offering of its brewery unit.

ThaiBev’s response: ‘No certainty that any such transactions will occur’

ThaiBev issued the following statement in response:

‘The Company wishes to clarify that as part of its normal course of business, ThaiBev continues to focus on executing its strategies and to explore avenues for the optimisation of its asset portfolio and enhancement of shareholder value.

To this end, ThaiBev 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. However, discussions on such strategic projects are still at exploratory or early stages and ThaiBev wishes to emphasise that there is no certainty or assurance that any such transactions will occur.

ThaiBev will issue an appropriate announcement if and when there is a firm decision to proceed with any such proposal, in accordance with the relevant Thai and Singapore regulations.’

On Friday morning, the company was queried by the SGX for ‘unusual volume movements’ surrounding its shares. Some 25.3 million shares were traded that morning alone – the second-most heavily traded by volume – up 62.23% from 15.5 million shares on Thursday, and 132.11% from 10.9 million shares on Wednesday.

The company responded with this statement: ‘In view of the unusual trading activity as identified by the SGX, shareholders and potential investors should seek appropriate professional advice and exercise caution at all times when dealing in the Shares and securities of ThaiBev, and refrain from taking any action in respect of their investments which may be prejudicial to their interests.’

ThaiBev requested for a trading halt at 1.19pm on Friday. Prior to the stoppage, shares had risen 4.6% to S$0.905. At their peak, stock prices rose as much as 5.2%.

According to Bloomberg, the drinks maker was in talks with potential advisors regarding a listing next year, and was targeting a valuation of S$10 billion. If this is true, this would be the largest listing since Hutchison Port Holdings Trust’s S$5.5 billion IPO in 2011 on the Singapore exchange.

ThaiBev shares traded flat at S$0.900 to open Monday morning’s proceedings.

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