A Sabeco factory in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang. Photo credit: Bao Dau Tu
State-owned Sabeco, the country's largest brewery, is planning to sell a part of the government’s holdings -- possibly 40-60 percent – but not to foreign investors, according to media reports Friday.
The company's reluctance stems from fears that a takeover by foreign investors could see the disappearance of its iconic Saigon Beer, the Ministry of Planning and Investment's news website Bao Dau Tu said.
The report comes amid reported interest from international players like Japan's Asahi and Kirin, London-based SAB Miller, and Thai Beverage Pcl in the company, which holds 46 percent of the market.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has mandated that Sabeco should find strategic partners to sell the stakes, Bao Dau Tu reported.
After an initial public offering in 2008 the government now owns 89.59 percent of Sabeco, and Dutch brewer Heineken, around 5 percent.
Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted Sabeco chairman Vo Thanh Ha as saying at a meeting with the Ministry of Industry and Trade Thursday that even though the government expects privatization to help improve a state-owned company's business, he did not see any clear improvement in the case of his company.
Sabeco expects to post over VND31.7 trillion ($1.39 billion) in revenue this year, up 2 percent year-on-year.