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Fraser and Neave adviser says Thai tycoon's raised offer is "fair"

A logo of Fraser and Neave Limited is pictured at its office building in Singapore January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A logo of Fraser and Neave Limited is pictured at its office building in Singapore January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Fraser and Neave Ltd's independent financial adviser JP Morgan said on Sunday Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's new offer of S$9.55 ($7.74) per share for the Singapore property and drinks conglomerate is "fair".

Directors who hold F&N shares, including chairman Lee Hsien Yang, intend to accept Charoen's revised offer, the company said in a statement.

Charoen is now set to take over F&N in Southeast Asia's biggest-ever acquisition. He had declared his S$9.55-per-share offer, which values the Singapore company at around S$13.75 billion ($11.2 billion), as final.

Thailand's third-richest man raised his offer for F&N last week to S$9.55 a share, 7.5 percent higher than his previous offer of S$8.88, to fend off a rival bid by a group led by Singapore-listed property firm Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd .

The Overseas Union group decided not to raise its S$9.08-per-share offer, saying such a move was no longer attractive after recent measures taken by the Singapore government to cool the city-state's property market.

F&N shares have been trading at Charoen's offer price of S$9.55 since the Overseas Union group bowed out of the two-month battle with the Thai tycoon, indicating that the market does not expect a new bidder to emerge.

Charoen currently has a 45.32 percent stake in F&N, held through Thai Beverage PCL and TCC Assets Ltd. The company has property assets worth more than S$8 billion as well as soft drinks, dairy and publishing businesses.

Analysts say Charoen is likely to tap F&N's network in Singapore and Malaysia to distribute Chang Beer, brewed by Thai Beverage, as well as spirits, energy drinks and instant coffee. In Thailand, where he already has an edge, Charoen may in turn market F&N's brands.

(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata; Editing by Paul Tait)

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