Carlsberg drops plan to raise stake in Vietnam brewer Habeco: report

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 A factory of Habeco in Vietnam. Photo credit: Bao Dau Tu
Habeco, Vietnam's second biggest brewer, is seeking another investor for a major stake after Denmark's brewer Carlsberg dropped its plan to increase its ownership in the company, local media reported Monday.
CEO Nguyen Hong Linh made the announcement at a recent meeting with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, according to news website Bao Dau Tu.
Carlsberg, a shareholder since 2008, were reportedly in talks with the Vietnamese company to increase its stake from 17.23 percent to 30.23 percent, but negotiations fell through, the website reported.
Habeco has sought the government's permission to sell a large chunk of state-owned shares in a block trade, it said.
The government, which currently owns a 81.79 percent stake in the Hanoi-based company, plans to cut that down to less than 50 percent.
Along with Ho Chi Minh City-based Sabeco, the country's biggest brewer, Habeco has caught the interest of foreign investors with their share sale plans. 
However, both of them were reported to have second thoughts. 
Sabeco, which plans to sell a stake of 40-60 percent to private investors, has recently announced that foreign companies will possibly be excluded. 
Controlling a 46 percent share of a market which is estimated to be worth US$4.56 billion, Sabeco has been eyed by many international giants such as Japan's Asahi and Kirin, London-based SAB Miller, and Thai Beverage Pcl.

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