UMEHL backs down in $560m brewery dispute

Military-owned conglomerate Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings backed down last week in a dispute over the value of Fraser & Neave’s stake in Myanmar Brewery, reports said.

UMEHL on August 6 accepted an in- dependent valuation of US$560 million for the Singapore-listed food, beverages, property and publishing company’s 55 percent share in the brewery, Channel NewsAsia reported.

UMEHL’s decision to accept the valu- ation was announced in a ling by F&N on the Singapore Stock Exchange, the broad- caster said.

F&N had been insisting that any sale of its stake in the brewery be based on the jointly-appointed independent valuer’s assessment of $560 million (about K653.5 billion).

UMEHL had wanted the sale based on the o cial exchange rate the day before a

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buyout was completed.
On July 29, UMEHL applied to the

Singapore High Court to have the buyout completed by August 20 and also sought an interim injunction requiring F&N to sell its stake for K500 billion (about US$428.5 million).

In its ling to the SGX on August 6, F&N said the interim injunction sought by UMEHL had been dismissed with costs by the court.

UMEHL said in a statement on August 6 that both parties had agreed to complete the sale “in accordance with the ruling by an arbitral tribunal at the end of last year, and to bring to a closure all disputes relat- ing to the payment of the stake”.

The sale would be completed on or be- fore August 20, it said, Channel NewsAsia reported.

The dispute went to arbitration after UMEHL in 2013 accused F&N of default- ing on their joint venture agreement.

The arbitration panel a rmed UME- HL’s right to buy F&N’s stake in the brew- ery but at a fair value to be decided by a jointly-appointed valuer.

F&N said at the time that the panel had described UMEHL’s initial $246 million o er for its stake as “grossly inadequate”, the broadcaster said.

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