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ThaiBev representatives join Sabeco beer board


SHAREHOLDERS of Vietnam's largest brewer Sabeco voted to add three representatives of Thai Beverage PCL to its management board, a Sabeco source and local media said.

ThaiBev, which has a more than 50 percent stake in Sabeco - formally known as Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp - complained to the Vietnamese government earlier this year that its proposed board members for Sabeco had not been accepted.

However, last month, a senior financial executive at Sabeco had said that ThaiBev's proposed members would be able to join the board and that the process had been delayed due to "complicated procedures".

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At a voting on Monday, shareholders approved the addition of ThaiBev's representatives to the Sabeco board, said the Sabeco source, who has knowledge of the matter but did not want to be named due to rules on talking to media.

One of the three newly elected board members is Singaporean Koh Poh Tiong, board director and adviser of Fraser and Neave Limited, according to the source and local media reports.

Fraser and Neave Ltd is owned by Thai magnate Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, who also owns ThaiBev, maker of Chang beer.

Sabeco and ThaiBev did not immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment.

ThaiBev won an auction in December to buy the stake in Sabeco, which sells brands such as Saigon Beer and 333. It bought the stake for US$4.84 billion, or about 320,000 dong (S$18.5) per share. Sabeco shares closed down 2 per cent at 217,500 dong, while the overall market ended down about 4 per cent. REUTERS