Carlsberg could raise stake in Hanoi Beer to 30%

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— Carlsberg could raise its stake to Hanoi Beer Alcohol & Beverage Joint Stock Corp. to 30%

— State-controlled Habeco says Danish brewer to acquire 13% stake

— Carlsberg to pay 50,015 dong per share

(Adds context in the second paragraph and comments from a Habeco official in the third and fourth paragraphs.)

HANOI–Government-controlled Hanoi Beer Alcohol & Beverage Joint Stock Corp. plans to sell a 13% stake in itself to Carlsberg A/S CABGY +1.11% , an official from the Vietnamese brewer said Friday, which would raise the Danish company’s stake in Habeco to 30%.

The planned deal comes a year after Carlsberg bought a controlling stake in a small Vietnamese brewery, and European brewers are increasingly turning to Asia for growth following sluggish growth in their home markets.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade “disclosed its decision after Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh agreed that Carlsberg will be allowed to raise its stake to a maximum of 30% in Habeco,” said the official, who declined to be named because he wasn’t authorized to talk to the media.

The official said the ministry has an 82% stake in Habeco, and cited Mr. Ninh as saying that Habeco will sell shares at 50,015 dong ($2.50) each to the Danish brewer. He didn’t provide a timetable or specify the value of the deal.

Carlsberg wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Vietnam’s regulations bar foreign companies from holding more than 49% in a domestically listed company, but there are no rules governing foreign ownership in unlisted companies.

Carlsberg already holds a 17% stake in Habeco, which is the country’s second-largest producer of beer after Saigon Beer Alcohol & Beverage Joint Stock Corp., or Sabeco.

The Vietnamese government’s move to sell shares in Habeco to Carlsberg followed Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s visit to Hanoi Wednesday and Thursday, during which the two governments pledged to boost cooperation and trade ties.

The Vietnamese government is pushing for the Hanoi-based brewer to expand its strategic partnership with Carlsberg, the world’s fourth-largest brewer, local news provider reported Friday.

Carlsberg first acquired Habeco shares at VND50,015 each in March 2008, when it bought into the Vietnamese firm’s initial public offering, the report said.

Last year, Carlsberg bought a 50% stake in unlisted Hue Brewery Co. to take full control of the company, which has an 8% share of the domestic beer market.

Earlier this year, Dutch brewer Heineken NV (HEIA.AE) acquired a controlling stake in Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd. (A46.SG), and is set to take full control of the brewer in November.