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Fraser & Neave's Myanmar Brewery stake worth over twice the bid price

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Beverage company Fraser & Neave's (F&N) 55 per cent stake in Myanmar Brewery has been estimated to be worth US$560 million or approximately S$763 million by an independent valuer, the company said on Thursday.

BEVERAGE company Fraser & Neave's (F&N) 55 per cent stake in Myanmar Brewery has been estimated to be worth US$560 million or approximately S$763 million by an independent valuer, the company said on Thursday.

It noted that this estimate was more than double the original offer of US$246 million or approximately S$335 million from Myanma Economic Holdings, which is F&N's joint-venture partner in Myanmar Brewery.

Myanma Economic had earlier won an arbitration ruling that will require F&N to sell its 55 per cent stake to its partner, but the arbitration tribunal had also said that Myanma Economic's offer was not fair.

Huang Hong Peng, chief executive officer of F&N's beer division, said the independent valuation represented a significant premium to Myanma Economic's original offer and "validates our assessment of the strategic attractiveness" of Myanmar Brewery due to its "leading position in the Myanmar beer market, the strength of its iconic Myanmar Beer brand and distribution network, and its ability to capitalise on future growth potential".

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A sale of its Myanmar Brewery stake means that F&N could lose a significant growth driver and its only alcoholic exposure since selling its stake in Tiger beer maker Asia Pacific Breweries in 2012.

However, the group said on Thursday it has earmarked funds for further investments to "achieve full business potential" in its core markets.

F&N shares closed four cents down at S$2.55 on Wednesday.

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