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Industry-Trade Ministry contradicts rumor about Sabeco share buyback

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HANOI – The Ministry of Industry and Trade on June 3 refuted a rumor stating that it would buy back 53% of Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation’s (Sabeco) shares from Thaibev.

According to rumors, Thai investor Thaibev that holds 53% of Sabeco’s shares is seeking to sell them to another investor. However, foreign breweries are uninterested in the deal, while the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which holds 36% of Sabeco’s shares, would reportedly buy Thaibev’s shares at VND130,000 per share.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai disputed this, saying, “Vietnam is trying to recover the economy and help businesses resume operations. There will not be any deals that affect the safe investment environment.”

The ministry earlier rejected a rumor that Sabeco would be sold to a Chinese investor in October 2019.

In a document sent to the Singapore Exchange on May 29, on which ThaiBev is listed, the Thai investor confirmed that it is not seeking buyers for Sabeco’s shares.

In late 2017, ThaiBev spent over US$4.8 billion buying 53.59% of Sabeco’s shares from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

After the deal, Sabeco operated efficiently until the Government issued Decree 100 banning drink driving, followed by the Covid-19 outbreak, which saw the company’s revenue and profit fall in 2019 and the early months of 2020.

By Lan Nhi

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