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Thai Billionaire Extends F&N Offer Deadline to January 10

Wednesday, 2 Jan 2013 | 6:00 PM ET
Range of Fraser & Neave Ltd. (F&N) products
Bloomberg | Getty Images
Range of Fraser & Neave Ltd. (F&N) products

Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi extended his $7.2 billion offer to take over Singapore property and drinks conglomerate Fraser and Neave (F&N) for the fifth time until Jan. 10.

Charoen owns a combined 33.6 percent of F&N through Thai Beverage and TCC Assets, and is trying to increase his stake in F&N to more than 50 percent to foil a rival bid by a group led by Singapore-listed Overseas Union Enterprise.

The consortium made a S$13.1 billion ($10.7 billion), or S$9.08 per share, counter bid for F&N in November, higher than the Thais' S$8.88 offer in September to acquire F&N shares that they did not already own.

(Read More: F&N Rebuffs $1.1 Billion Bid for Hospitality, Residence Unit)

Last month, Charoen tried and failed to purchase an additional stake of 10 percent after offering S$9.60 per share to funds, sources said.

The Overseas Union-led group had set a Jan. 3 deadline for its offer. It is expected to extend its offer to as long as the fourth week of January, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said, declining to be identified because the matter was confidential.

Overseas Union's chairman Stephen Riady is also the president of Indonesia's Lippo group of companies.

Kirin Holdings, F&N's second-biggest shareholder with a stake of around 14.8 percent, has given its conditional support to the Overseas Union group. The Japanese brewer will offer to buy F&N's food and beverage business for S$2.7 billion if the group's bid is successful.

F&N's independent financial advisor J.P.Morgan had said both the offers from Charoen and the Overseas Union group were "not compelling." The bank deemed Kirin's offer for F&N's food and beverage business as "fair but not reasonable," F&N said on Dec. 31.

F&N shares have been trading above both offer prices with the market expecting a higher offer. The stock has risen nearly 6 percent since the Overseas Union group announced its counter bid, closing at S$9.67 on Wednesday before the Thais' announcement.

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