Kirin Takes Stake In Tiger Beer Maker For $974M

Japan's largest beer maker said it agreed to buy a 14.7 percent stake in the maker of Tiger beer from Singapore government investment fund Temasek for almost $1 billion.

SINGAPORE (AP) -- Kirin, Japan's largest beer maker, said Monday it agreed to buy a 14.7 percent stake in the maker of Tiger beer from Singapore government investment fund Temasek for almost $1 billion.

Kirin Holdings Co. will buy 205.5 million Fraser & Neave shares from a unit of Temasek Holdings Ltd. for Singapore dollars 1.34 billion ($974 million), it said in a statement.

F&N, which also owns real estate and publishing businesses, is best known for producing Tiger beer and F&N brand soft drinks. Its chairman is Lee Hsien Yang, brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Temasek is headed by Lee Hsien Loong's wife Ho Ching.

The transaction will be completed by July 29 and Kirin plans to fund the acquisition through existing cash on hand and borrowings, the Japanese company said.

"This transaction will provide Kirin with opportunities to expand its business base in the fast-growing Southeast Asian market, and Kirin plans to work closely with F&N," it said.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch advised Kirin on the transaction.

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