Japanese food and drink firm Kirin Holdings has said it will sell its 15% stake in Fraser and Neave to investment vehicle TCC Assets for around S$2bn (US$1.6bn).

Kirin confirmed today (1 February) it will offload its shares to TCC before the offer deadline of 18 February. TCC, which is owned by Chang beer brewer ThaiBev, this week took majority control of F&N and is expected to take full ownership of the Singapore food and drinks group.

Kirin said the reason for its move was because “it would be difficult to implement an integrated beverages strategy in South-East Asia” in light of the TCC acquisition.

The Japanese group had previously said it would buy F&N’s food and beverage business for S$2.7bn, if Singapore property group Overseas Union Enterprise (OUE) had captured the conglomerate.

However, OUE withdrew its offer last week after TCC raised its bid to S$9.55 per share. Kirin said today all its previous agreements with OUE have been terminated since it withdrew from the bidding process.