SINGAPORE: 2011 Thai floods hit Fraser and Neave's dairy profits

By Dean Best | 19 November 2012

Singapore conglomerate Fraser and Neave has booked a drop in annual profits from its dairy business after production was hit by the floods in Thailand late last year.

F&N, which is the subject of a takeover battle, reported its results for the year to 30 September and said earnings from dairy stood at S$26m, down from S$37m a year earlier.

The company said its dairy operations in Thailand returned to full production in May after 200 days of disruption.

Further north in Malaysia, F&N said the removal of a sugar subsidy for some food and beverage suppliers had put its local dairy business "at a cost disadvantage".

However, excluding the impact of the Thai floods, profits from F&N's dairy business increased 67% to S$25m.

F&N, which brews beer, manufactures soft drinks and owns property worldwide, has received two takeover bids. Last week, Overseas Union Enterprise (OUE), a Singapore-based property group, submitted a S$13.1bn (US$10.7bn) cash offer for full control of F&N.

The bid tops a S$9bn bid for F&N by TCC Assets – a privately-held vehicle owned by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi. Through TCC Assets and Chang beer brewer ThaiBev, Sirivadhanabhakdi already holds a 30.66% stake in F&N.

Japanese food and drink group Kirin Holdings has agreed to acquire F&N's food and beverage business if the bid by OUE for the conglomerate succeeds.

Kirin said on Friday it will tender its 15% stake in F&N for S$1.9bn. If OUE's offer is accepted, the Japanese group will then buy back F&N's food and beverage business for around S$2.7bn.

Last week, the sale of F&N's interest in Tiger beer brewer Asia Pacific Breweries to Heineken was completed. Heineken moved to buy out F&N from APB after ThaiBev acquired a stake in the Singapore group, prompting months of takeover intrigue that still surrounds the company.

Sectors: Dairy, Emerging markets, Financials

Companies: Fraser and Neave, Kirin Holdings

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