in July acquired Carlsberg Vietnam Brewery-Vung Tau in the southern Vietnamese port city to increase its capacity and cash in on the local booming beer market, Bloomberg reported.
The Dutch beverage giant has identified Vietnam as the next key driver for its growing Asia-Pacific business, as it becomes more difficult to squeeze profits from Africa, the Middle East and parts of Europe.
The century-old brewer now operates two firms in Vietnam namely /Asia Pacific Brewery (APB) Hanoi, which is wholly owned, and Heineken Vietnam Brewery Limited Company, in which Heineken has a 60% stake. Besides, it owns a 5% stake in Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Joint Stock Corporation (Sabeco
), the largest beer maker in the country.
Carlsberg Chief Executive Officer Cees’t Hart said the sale of the facility would allow the Danish brewer to concentrate on its existing territory in the northern part of the country.
“We have a footprint, which we would like to improve,” Hart said, referring to state-run Hanoi Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp. (Habeco
), in which Carlsberg is seeking for government permission to raise its ownership to 30% from 17% currently.
A number of international brewers such as Heineken, Thai Beverage PCL and Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. Are seeking to expand their presence in the country, thanks to rising consumerism, and fast-growing middle class.
Another attraction of Vietnam’s beer market is that it is less dominated by local brewers compared with Asian countries such as Japan and Thailand, where home-grown brands take up about 90% of volume, said Euromonitor analyst Andrea Lianto. Meanwhile, Vietnamese brewers take a 63% market share in 2015.
“The Vietnamese beer market is of great interest to other international players, such as those from Japan and Thailand,” said Dominic Scriven, chairman of Dragon Capital which manages about $1.5 billion worth of assets.
Vietnam consumed 3.4 billion liters of beer in 2015, rising 10% from a year earlier and 41% from 2010, making it the largest beer market in Southeast Asia and the third in Asia, after Japan and China, according to data of the Vietnam Beer, Alcohol Beverage Association.
The sales volume is projected to reach five billion liters by 2025, which will offer lucrative opportunities for foreign brewers.