SINGAPORE - Shares of Singapore conglomerate Fraser and Neave Ltd (F&N), which controls 40 per cent of Tiger beer maker Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), jumped as much as 2 per cent on Friday after a block trade stoked speculation of a takeover battle.
Traders said a block of 18.8 million F&N shares, or about 1.3 per cent of the firm's issued shares, changed hands at S$8.60 apiece early in the session, prompting speculation Thai Beverage had raised its stake in the Singapore firm.
By 0220 GMT(10:30 am), F&N had risen to S$8.65 with 21 million shares traded. The stock had earlier hit a record high of S$8.66, up 2 per cent from the previous close.
Shares of ThaiBev were up 1.5 per cent at S$0.335.
"ThaiBev may have bought a chunk of shares from some other party so they'll have more say in the decisions," said a Singapore trader.
Heineken's resolve to buy out Asia Pacific Breweries is being tested as the fight for a bigger slice of one of the world's fastest-growing beer markets intensifies.
ThaiBev, whose main shareholder is Thailand's second-richest man Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, is set to become F&N's largest shareholder with about 24 per cent of the shares. An investment vehicle controlled by Charoen's son-in-law has offered to buy F&N's direct 7.3 per cent stake in APB.
F&N and Asia Pacific Breweries are expected to report fiscal third-quarter earnings later on Friday after the stock market closes.