Officially, Vietnam is a communist nation, but the southeast Asian nation’s exploding economy has some very capitalist elements—-even in the world of beer. On Monday (12.18), the government is set to auction off an up to five billion dollar share in state owned beer giant Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Sabeco) as first reported by Reuters.
Sabeco’s stock has been skyrocketing for the last year with shares now with shares now trading at 309,200 following the company’s IPO. However, the new offering will come with a minimum sale price of 320,000 dong (or $14.10) a share.
Reuters reported that the only current suitor is Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s Thai Beverage (TBEV.SI). In the past, the several news outlets also reported that Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR), Kirin Holdings (2503.T), Asahi Group Holdings (2502.T) and San Miguel (SMC.PS) threw their hats in the ring.
Unique government regulations could make the offering a little tricky. Foreign companies are barred from holding more than 49% of Sabeco and 10% of that quota is already spoken for by outsiders including Heinekin whose portfolio includes a 5% stake. Domestic bidders will be allowed to own up to 53.6%.
Sabeco’s two largest brands are Saigon Beer and 333 Beer. The company currently controls in excess of 40% of Vietnam’s domestic beer market. The country’s Ministry of Trade currently owns the vast majority of the corporation along with competitor, HABECO. Both companies are being spun off into private control in an attempt to stem a growing budget deficit in the nation.