Brewing groups including Thai Beverage, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Kirin Holdings are preparing to bid for a stake in Vietnam's largest brewer, Sabeco, Reuters reported on Sunday.
The auction of up to 54 percent of Sabeco for $5 billion by the government opens this week, the report said citing people familiar with the matter.
Sabeco is seen as attractive as assets are scarce in a highly consolidated global beer market.
Thai Bev, controlled by tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, is shaping up as a strong contender, the report said, as it is familiar with the Vietnam system and sees Sabeco as key to expanding outside its home market.
Last month, a Thai Bev unit bought a 49 percent stake in a Vietnamese company which, the report said, could be used as a vehicle to bid for Sabeco as a domestic player, giving it an advantage over international rivals.
The Sabeco auction is on Dec. 18, and bidders who are keen to own a stake equal to 25 percent or more of Sabeco's shares need to inform local authorities a week before the auction, according to the report.
Shares in Thai Beverage were unchanged at S$0.95 on the Singapore Exchange. The stock has gained 14 percent in an year.