Thai Beverage renews plan for Singapore IPO of regional beer assets; shares jump

SINGAPORE (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) – Singapore-listed Thai Beverage said on Thursday (May 5) that it would look to sell a 20 per cent stake in its regional beer business on the main board of the Singapore Exchange, more than a year after it postponed the plan for a second time due to pandemic-led uncertainty.

The spin-off of BeerCo by ThaiBev – controlled by one of Thailand’s richest men, billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi – was set to be the largest initial public offering (IPO) in Singapore in nearly a decade before it was called off in April last year.

Shares of ThaiBev jumped on the news on Thursday with the stock trading three cents, or 4.4 per cent, higher at 70.5 cents as at 11.44am.

It was reported earlier that the IPO could raise about US$2 billion (S$2.75 billion), which would value BeerCo at about US$10 billion. 

Should the IPO finally go ahead, it would be Singapore’s biggest since the 2011 listing of Hutchison Port Holdings Trust, which raised US$5.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

ThaiBev is one of South-east Asia’s largest makers of drinks and counts the popular Chang lager among its key brands.

“The board sees significant growth potential in the beer business and believes that the potential can better be developed with a dedicated board of directors and management team focused solely on growing the beer business,” it said on Thursday.

ThaiBev said it intends to retain a significant majority stake in the beer business after the spin-off, and will use part of the proceeds generated from the stake sale to repay interest-bearing debt.

ThaiBev added it has received confirmation from SGX that the no-objection letter will continue to apply.