The chief executive of F&N’s parent company, Thai Beverage, said the bid was non-binding and an attempt by the group to expand into premium brands with strong market positions.
According to Reuters, which quoted Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, Thai Beverage was among several bidders going through to the final stages of an auction to buy the two brands in a deal that the news wire speculates could be worth up to EUR3bn (US$3.24bn).
"This will be an opportunity for us to increase international brands into our portfolio,” Thapana was quoted as saying. ThaiBev is also aiming to expand into southeast Asian countries, especially Vietnam, the chief executive added.
ThaiBev-owned F&N, which is one of the region’s biggest beverage companies, has since confirmed its involvement in the bid, though stressed that its success in this regard was not assured.
“[F&N] constantly evaluates and looks out for strategic opportunities to grow its business, and in this respect, it has expressed an interest to acquire the Peroni and Grolsch beer brands,” the company said in a statement released by Anthony Cheong Fook Seng, its group secretary.
“However, the company would like to emphasise that there is no certainty of any transaction materialising and it will make appropriate announcements if and when there are any material developments in this matter.”
In a bid to gain regulatory approval for a US$100 billion-plus takeover of SABMiller that made headlines last year, AB InBev is looking to shed some of its brands, including Peroni and Grolsch.