Monday, January 21, 2013

Congrats to Asia and to Thai business taipan Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi---originally from Bangkok City's Chinatown---for soon becoming world-class and globally-competitive! Inspiring!

(Image below sourced from

Thai Billionaire Nears Win on F&N After OUE Sticks to Bid

Thailand’s richest man came closer to winning control of Fraser & Neave Ltd. (FNN) after a rival group failed to top his S$13.8 billion ($11.2 billion) offer for the 130-year-old property and beverage company.

A group led by Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd. (OUE) said yesterday it won’t match Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s Jan. 18 offer of S$9.55 a share. The OUE group had bid S$9.08 a share in November.

Overseas Union Enterprise Not Increasing Offer Price for F&N

Overseas Union Enterprise Not Increasing Offer Price for F&N

Overseas Union Enterprise Not Increasing Offer Price for F&N
Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg
A woman shops for Fraser & Neave Ltd. soft drinks at a supermarket in Singapore.
A woman shops for Fraser & Neave Ltd. soft drinks at a supermarket in Singapore. Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg

OUE’s decision gives Charoen the upper hand after a two- month battle over company that has assets from soft drinks to serviced apartments. The billionaire has built a 40 percent stake in F&N in his push to win the biggest takeover of a Singapore-based company.

“It’s all over,” said Jonathan Foster, Singapore-based director of special situations at Religare Capital Markets. “All said and done, S$9.55 is not a bad outcome. While it’s not quite as good as what it could have got, I think the vast majority of F&N shareholders would be satisfied considering where the stock was trading before the saga erupted.”

Charoen’s TCC Assets Ltd. still needs to gain the support of a majority of shareholders. His bid is 2 percent lower than F&N’s closing price of S$9.74 yesterday.

“Charoen seems pretty convinced that his S$9.55 offer is as generous as he’s going to get,” said Jason Hughes, head of premium client management at IG Markets in Singapore. “In all likelihood, there would be enough willing sellers at that price. On the balance of probability, F&N is now TCC’s for the taking.”

F&N shares have gained 22 percent since Charoen announced made his initial investment in the company on July 18, three times the gain in the Singapore benchmark Straits Times Index. (FSSTI)

Impossible Takeover

OUE, a Singapore-based property company, had enlisted Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings Co. in its November bid. OUE would get the company’s property business and Kirin would take the food and beverage unit, under that pact. The Japanese brewer would offer S$2.7 billion for F&N’s food and beverage business, if the group won enough support to complete the takeover.

“It would be impossible for Kirin to get the beverage business,” said Mikihiko Yamato, deputy head of research for JI Asia in Tokyo. “It’s unimaginable for the rival ThaiBev to hand it over to Kirin.”

ThaiBev or Thai Beverage Pcl (THBEV), which owns shares in F&N, is Thailand’s biggest beer maker that’s controlled by Charoen. Kirin, which has a 14.8 percent stake in F&N, hasn’t decided what it would do with its shares, said Kan Yamamoto, the company’s spokesman. He declined to comment on the OUE decision.

Cutting Losses

OUE said yesterday that to win majority shareholder support it would have had to raise its bid “to a level which is no longer as attractive.” The decision led to a lapse in its offer, which expired yesterday.
“OUE decided to cut their losses and keep on going with their own business,” Hughes said.

Charoen, 68, agreed to buy a 22 percent stake in F&N in July, sparking a fight for its assets. He had offered S$8.88 a share in September. His latest offer will remain open until Feb. 4, F&N said in a statement.

The Thai billionaire was born and raised in Bangkok’s Chinatown district. He bid for the rights to operate distilleries during a liberalization of the nation’s liquor industry, before expanding into beer, alcohol, sugar, and packaging businesses.

Charoen’s unlisted business, TCC Group, has a real estate unit. His Thai Beverage, which sells the Chang brand of beer, gets almost all its revenue from its home market.

OUE Executive Chairman Stephen Riady is a son of Mochtar Riady, who controls Indonesia’s Lippo Group, with businesses ranging from real estate and financial services to food across Asia. If successful, it would be the biggest ever acquisition of a Singapore-based company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


A previous Bloomberg article on August 9, 2012 had this profile of the Thai billionaire:

Chinatown Billionaire

Charoen, 68, was born and raised in Bangkok’s Chinatown district after his parents moved from Shantau in China. His business interests extend to other industries such as property development, insurance. Based on his 70 percent stake in Thai conglomerate Berli Jucker Public Co. and a 66 percent holding in Thai Beverage, he now has $5.9 billion worth of stock, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Thai Bev, which sells Chang -- Thailand’s No. 2 beer brand -- as well as spirits and soft drinks, got only about 3.7 percent of its 2011 revenue of 132 billion baht ($4.2 billion) from outside its home country, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Thai Bev in 2006 sold shares in Singapore after anti- alcohol protesters blocked an offering in its home market. The company says it is now is looking to expand overseas.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours. --- Swedish proverb

("Dressed for Success", released on 1988, was the second single from the Swedish pop duo Roxette's 1988 album Look SDharp! This image sourced from

(This Swedish image and flag below sourced from

The editor-in-chief of Metro Society magazine, Raul Manzano, invited me to write five features on five prominent business leaders who are also top philanthropists of the Philippines, for their latest January 2013 issue. These are (not in any order)---Henry Sy, John Gokongwei, Jr., George S. K. Ty, Lucio C. Tan and Andrew Tan. The cover story of this special issue is Ambassador Manuel "Manolo" Lopez and Carlos Ott.

I am herewith sharing a news story sent to me by ABS-CBN Publishing Corporation on this magazine:


"2013 marks Metro Society’s decade in the industry. With that, we open with a bang with one of our most celebrated issues, the business issue. January is the beginning and marks many things… New Year’s resolutions, fresh starts and brighter tomorrows. Metro Society has a few ideas of its own to welcome 2013."

"We are especially looking forward to celebrating our 10th year anniversary on October and as a thank you to all our readers, we plan to make every issue leading up to that outdo all issues that have come before. We promise more pages, more people, more in depth pieces and of course, more parties and access to the metro’s hippest events."

"We open our January magazine with an exciting new project by Rockwell land, The Proscenium. This development which, in its early stages already promises to set a new standard of modern and efficient living, has been making waves in the real estate development, architectural and interior design scene."

"The collaboration between international design and architectural genius Manny Ott and the Lopez development group has raised curiosity and excitement for individuals in and out of the industry alike. Whether you are a developer, a buyer or merely a bystander, it is definitely one building to watch out for. This project is set to elevate the market and change the standard in apartment living."

"For the business issue, we shifted gears a bit. We usually do stories on upper-crust society and focus on their lifestyles, but now, we took the entrepreneurial world by storm by choosing 10 families who are not only known for being in the highest of castes in Manila Society but are truly considered to be the business elite."

"The pieces about these families are in-depth and brutally honest. We tell it how it is and show you sides to these powerhouses that have not been brought up before. From the empires they have built to the personal lives they lead, each and every individual included plays a part in these family fortunes."

"One thread that waves its way into each story is the economic uplifting of the Philippines though these big businesses as well as the charitable endeavours which make them every bit as worthy to hold on to such affluence. These legacies have become a part of our history and it is a privilege to feature these stories in the pages of Metro Society."

"Asides from the accepted entrepreneurial minds, we also took the opportunity to introduce 10 fresh business owners who may not have the same experience but definitely have one immense advantage over the old-timers… their youth. These young go getters have all that it takes to run a company; intelligence, business savvy, and drive. Hand-picked by Metro Society, we have no doubt that these young industrialists will make it far and follow in the footsteps of those who came before them to continue paving the way for Philippine economic growth."

"This January, we invite you to indulge as we start the New Year with an abundance of interesting individuals and material possessions. Be sure to compare the lifestyles and wardrobes of beauty fiends Trish Xavier and Tsin Pajaro - Inocian.  The 2 beautiful women have made it their personal and professional business to beautify all of Manila, one person at a time. Relax at The Spa in Powerplant mall in our spa bonding section or check out fun paper, writing and gift wrapping finds in our shopping section where we feature the one-stop gift shop, Scribe."

"For those of you who want to start a year in fashion, turn to our Objects of Desire section and feast on the ornate gold clutches of Beatriz accessories, Cocorose London’s intricately designed foldable flats, and the new handbag selections of Hermes and Gucci. Our fashion pages feature the full fall/winter 2012/2013 collection of Louis Vuitton for both, men and women, a perfect opportunity to find extravagant buys for those of you who want to spoil yourself or a loved one. Speaking of loved ones, check out the men in this issue. Both athletes and both in great shape, bachelor Darren Hartman is now with Kaya FC football club and nobleman Paolo Cabalfin shows us a thing or two about building muscle in his newly opened training center, Focus Athletics."

"Your invitation to the most happening events has arrived in our socials pages. From fun foodie events such as Spirals second coming, and the opening of TWG, to the hippest parties like Jewelmer’s Joaillerie’s spring/summer 2013 collection launch, PMAP’s 25th year anniversary, Johnny Walker’s trip on the voyager, Hublot’s 30th anniversary, and Hermes’ silk party. We end on a high note with Tessa Prieto Valdes’ big birthday bash wherein she shows us all how to throw one hell of a celebration!"

"When you grab the latest issue of Metro Society, January 2013, do not forget to read about the life and business of Jesus Amado Araneta of the Araneta Center. This heartwarming tale of business, love, and family will be sure to leave you amazed at such a man and truly proud to call yourself Filipino. Grab a copy now!"

Monday, January 7, 2013

"Luck is when preparation meets opportunity." Whoever said this is right! I've learned through the years that the harder I work, the luckier I get.

No need for good luck charms and other superstitious beliefs or acts, just work hard and focus on what one is or must do, then we shall be blessed by God with blessings and successes!

I believe that hard work is ultimately rewarded by God with success and fulfillment, and vice versa. Therefore, let's get off our behinds and go to work! :)


“Sweat plus sacrifice equals success.” ~ Charlie Finley

(Image below sourced from

(Image and this inspiring quote by Vik Muniz sourced from

(This image and quote below sourced from

(Image below sourced from