THAILAND – Thai Beverage (ThaiBev), Thailand’s largest and one of Southeast Asia’s largest beverage companies, has announced it will review the Proposed Spin-off Listing of the BeerCo after closely monitoring market conditions and exploring opportunities.

“ThaiBev continues to believe that BeerCo’s position as one of the leading beer players in Southeast Asia and its growth potential offer a distinct and compelling growth story,” the company said in response to market analysts’ queries. “The Proposed Spin-off Listing will be reviewed at the appropriate time by ThaiBev with its advisors,” it added.

The company suspended the listing plan in April last year over uncertain market conditions and a volatile outlook, worsened by the pandemic that hit Thailand.

It had intended to conduct a public offering of as much as about 20% of the shares in the unit and was seeking about US$800 million to US$1 billion in the unit’s IPO, people familiar with the matter previously.

However, the Chang beer brand owner had not determined the price for the initial public offering and whether ThaiBev shareholders, will be allowed to participate directly or indirectly in the IPO.

“The hesitation on ThaiBev’s part may be linked to liquidity concerns in this region,” said Nirgunan Tiruchelvam, an analyst at Tellimer in Singapore.

“It is an indictment on the market conditions” rather than a reflection of the operating performance of the beer business, he added.

BeerCo received conditional approval from the exchange for a listing and started gauging investor demand for the offering in June.

ThaiBev had previously halted plans for the IPO in May 2020 due to the country’s lockdown in the early days of Covid-19. A second effort was thwarted by the worst wave of the country’s outbreak.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the IPO was set to potentially be Singapore’s biggest since NetLink NBN Trust’s US$1.7 billion offering in 2017.

THAI Beverage (ThaiBev) recorded a 4.9 percent year-on-year increase in sales revenue to 80.9 billion Thai baht (S$3.2 billion) in the first quarter (Q1) ended on Dec 31.

The company’s earnings before interest taxes, depreciation, and amortization (Ebitda) fell 7.7 percent to 13.5 billion baht, according to its business update for Q1. The performance reflects the company’s rise in revenue, brand investment, and cost push, ThaiBev said.

ThaiBev’s beer business reported a 13.7 percent year-on-year rise in sales revenue to 37.9 billion baht, boosted by a combination of price increase, improvement in product mix, and a 4.5 percent increase in total sales volume year on year, following the recovery of economic activity in Thailand and Vietnam.

Its spirits business sales dropped 6.4 percent to 33.7 billion baht, with a total sales volume decline of 15.2 percent year on year.

Sales revenue for non-alcoholic beverages rose 15.6 percent to 4.6 billion baht, lifted by a 7.1 percent increase in sales volume as consumption improved post-pandemic.

The company’s food business recorded a 24 percent year-on-year increase in sales revenue to 4.7 billion baht, helped by the upswing in dine-in traffic at restaurants as well as its effort to increase brand penetration and accessibility.

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.