Thai tycoon set to win bid for Fraser and Neave


The battle for control of Fraser and Neave, one of Singapore’s oldest conglomerates, reached its endgame yesterday as Indonesian tycoon Stephen Riady pulled out of an auction for the business, clearing the way for a Thai rival to put his bid to shareholders.

A unit of Overseas Union Enterprise, controlled by Mr Riady, said it would not improve on a S$9.08 a share offer for FN, which traces its roots to Asia’s first carbonated water business in 1884. A stalemate ensued, prompting Singapore’s takeover watchdog to intervene, calling for an auction to start yesterday. Last week, businessman Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi upped the ante by raising his original S$8.88 a share offer to S$9.55 and bought further FN shares to bring his shareholding to over 40 per cent. – (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2013)