Thai tycoon's latest battle
Money generates money, and in the case of Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, one of Asia’s richest men, this is certainly true.
Efforts by Charoen’s Thai Beverage to gain control of brewer F&N were boosted last week after rival bidder Overseas Union Enterprise stepped out of the race.
This has been one of the most keenly fought corporate battles in Asia in recent months.
Struggle with Riady family
Charoen first invested in F&N in July in a struggle with another prominent Asian family, the Riadys, who own the Lippo group in Indonesia.
But it is only the latest in a series of battles for Charoen, who seems to relish a good row.
In 2005, he forced Carlsberg to pay €89 million to settle a legal dispute with a brewer he controlled.
Charoen also bought a chunk of Asia Pacific Breweries, which ultimately forced Heineken to buy Tiger beer.
Charoen hails from Bangkok’s Chinatown district. He bid for the rights to operate distilleries during the liberalisation of the nation’s booze business and has since diversified into property and other sectors. He is worth about $10 billion (€7.4 billion).
In 2006 Thai Beverage had to sell shares in Singapore after anti-alcohol protesters blocked an initial public offering. Buddhist monks and others argued that a share sale by the maker of Chang beer and Mekhong whiskey would encourage alcoholism in a country where most people are Buddhist, Bloomberg reported.