Thailand's largest beer, whiskey maker Thai Beverage offers US$512M to purchase Serm Sulk, bottler of PepsiCo products in the country; move will help expand portfolio of non-alcoholic drinks, company says

LOS ANGELES , September 9, 2011 () – Thailand’s largest beer and whiskey maker Thai Beverage Pcl has offered to purchase Serm Sulk Pcl, the bottler of PepsiCo. Inc. beverages in the country, for up to 15.4 billion baht (US$512 million), Bloomberg reported Sept. 9.

Thai Beverage is set to pay 6.4 billion baht, or 58 baht a share, for the 42% stake in Serm Sulk that PepsiCo and its affiliates own, and will offer to purchase the remaining shares at the same price, the company said in a Sept. 9 regulatory filing. The offer price is 6.1% below the stock’s price as of Sept. 8.

Serm Suk’s share price has tripled since PepsiCo offered a 44% premium to purchase the remaining shares of the company in April 2010.

The acquisition will let Thai Beverage expand its portfolio of non-alcoholic products, the company said in a separate statement.

PepsiCo stopped its planned acquisition of Serm Suk last year when the Thai company’s board denied its offer. SS National became the largest shareholder in Serm Suk in December 2010 after purchasing shares from investors that included the company’s founder. SS National owns 32.6% of Serm Suk, according to Bloomberg data.

SS National and PepsiCo agreed in March to settle the ownership dispute by allowing PepsiCo to make SS National an offer for its stake in the company. The two shareholder groups later agreed to allow Thai Beverage to purchase PepsiCo’s stake, Serm Suk said Sept. 9.

Thai Beverage is a producer and distributor of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The company also operates Japanese restaurants and bakery stores in Thailand, according to its website.

The primary source of this article is Bloomberg, New York, New York, on Sept. 9, 2011.

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