April 23, 2018 / 9:24 AM / in 7 months

Sabeco adds representatives of major shareholder ThaiBev to board

Bottles of beer move along a production line at a factory of Saigon Beer Corporation (Sabeco) in Hanoi, Vietnam May 26, 2015. REUTERS/Kham

HANOI (Reuters) - Shareholders of Vietnam’s largest brewer Sabeco SAB.HM voted to add three representatives of Thai Beverage PCL (TBEV.SI) to its management board, Sabeco said in a statement.

ThaiBev, which has a more than 50 percent stake in Sabeco - formally known as Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp, complained to the Vietnamese government earlier this year that its proposed board members for Sabeco had not been accepted.

However, last month, a senior financial executive at Sabeco had said that ThaiBev’s proposed members would be able to join the board and that the process had been delayed due to “complicated procedures”.

At a voting on Monday, shareholders approved the addition of ThaiBev’s representatives to the Sabeco board, the Vietnamese brewer said in the statement on Monday, confirming what a Sabeco source had told Reuters and local media reports.

One of the three newly elected board members is Singaporean Koh Poh Tiong, board director and adviser of Fraser and Neave Limited. Fraser and Neave is owned by Thai magnate Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, who also owns ThaiBev, maker of Chang beer.

The other two new board members are Malcolm Tan Tiang Hing, CEO of Shanghai-based beverage distributor DXCel International, and Sunyaluck Chaikajornwat, partner of Thai law firm Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners Ltd, Sabeco said in the statement.

ThaiBev did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.

ThaiBev won an auction in December to buy the stake in Sabeco, which sells brands such as Saigon Beer and 333. It bought the stake for $4.84 billion, or about 320,000 dong ($14.03) per share.

Sabeco shares closed down 2 percent at 217,500 dong, while the overall market .VNI ended down about 4 percent.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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