|Traded as||SGX: Y92|
|Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, President and CEO|
|Revenue||181.19 billion baht (2015) |
|Profit||26.46 billion baht (2015) |
|Total assets||182.01 billion baht (2015) |
|Subsidiaries||Fraser and Neave
Thai Beverage, better known as ThaiBev (Thai: ไทยเบฟ) (SGX: Y92), is Thailand's largest and one of Southeast Asia's largest beverage companies, with distilleries in Thailand, Scotland, Ireland, China, and France. Listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, Thai Beverage Plc has a market capitalization in excess of US$4 billion.
Thai Beverage Public Company Limited owns and distributes several significant brands, including Chang beer, Mekhong and SangSom rum. It also has significant operations in Europe, producing malt Scotch whisky, vodka, gin, and liqueurs with over 20 distilleries in Scotland, France, Poland, and Ireland. Mr Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi in early 2013, added Fraser and Neave, Limited, a food and beverage, brewing, property, and publishing industries conglomerate in Singapore, to his drinks and property empire.
Chang Beer, which started production in March 1995 at their brewery in Bang Ban District of Ayutthaya Province, is the top-selling brand in Thailand. It managed to win 60 percent market share in Thailand after a hard market fight with the previous leading brand, Singha. In 2006, the company's beer market share was 49 percent, according to research company Canadean.
ThaiBev brews Chang (or Chang Beer) (Thai: เบียร์ช้าง), a pale lager. Chang (Thai: ช้าง) is the Thai word for elephant, an animal with cultural and historical significance in Thailand. The logo features two elephants facing each other.
In 2004, the company introduced Archa beer, at 5.4 percent abv. Archa won a gold medal at the 2007 Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA). The abv was lowered to 4.9 percent in 2014. The first market outside Thailand to distribute Archa Beer was Singapore and it was successfully launched in Singapore back in 2012 by InterBev (Singapore) Ltd..
In 2006, the company launched Chang Light, 4.2 percent abv and Chang Draught in bottles, at five percent abv. They were discontinued in 2015.
In 2015 ThaiBev consolidated all brands into Chang Classic. ThaiBev stopped production of Archa, Chang Beer, Chang Draught, and Chang Export. Production of Chang Classic is shared between ThaiBev’s three breweries. The recipe was changed to include rice, previously only used in the domestic 6.4% version. The abv varies between 5% and 5.5% abv depending on the market.
In December 2000 Carlsberg and Chang established a 50/50 joint venture, Carlsberg Asia, to create a significant brewing company in Asia. The Carlsberg influence can be seen in the typography of the "Beer Chang" logo, which resembles the classic "Carlsberg Beer". In 2005 Carlsberg pulled out of the venture and terminated its licence agreement with Chang due to non-fulfillment of contractual obligations, resulting in Chang claiming US$2.5 billion in damages. A final settlement of US$120 million was subsequently paid by Carlsberg.
ThaiBev produces brown and white spirits, including rum, which is derived from distilling cane juice, sugar or molasses until the product is with 60–95% alcohol content. The content is mixed with purified water to produce a satisfactory level of alcohol content before being transferred to age in charred oak barrels for at least one year. Before being bottled the liquor may be further mixed to adjust for desired colour, aroma and taste, but it has to have at least 40% alcohol content.
ThaiBev's most famous, but not best selling, spirit is Mekhong, which originated in 1941 at the Bangyikhan Distillery west of Bangkok. Originally a state-owned distillery, it dates back over 200 years to the beginning of the current Chakri Dynasty. The launch of Mekhong was aimed at producing high-quality Thai spirit to stem the increase in the import of foreign liquor and to eventually replace imported brands. SangSom, however, has been the country’s most popular spirit brand for over 29 years, until 2006 holding almost 50 percent share of the entire brown spirits market in Thailand. The company also produces Mungkorn Thong and Hong Thong and brands based on whisky, such as Crown 99 and Blue, as well as Scotch whisky brands such as Hankey Banister and Pinwinnie Royal Scotch Whisky.
White spirits are made from molasses without any mixture or colour, and produced in four alcohol contents: 28, 30, 35, and 40 percent. The company's largest-selling white spirits is Ruang Khao. The labels are colour-coded to reflect the alcoholic strength but do not have the brand name printed on them. Other brands in this category are Niyomthai and White Tiger.
Molasses is the main raw material used for the production of ThaiBev's spirits, so that most of the products fall under the category of rum. Molasses is a by-product of the manufacture of raw sugar from sugar cane. As is the case with all distilled spirits, the distillate is crystal clear when first distilled. Amber and dark brown spirits obtain their colour from the extracts from the oak barrel during aging and from caramel, a natural colouring agent.
ThaiBev's yeast cultures, used for fermentation, are grown in its own laboratory and propagated in a yeast propagation tank. The yeast, molasses diluted by water, steamed rice that has been sprayed with mould (to create sugar) and incubated for four days, and water are added into a fermenter and the mixture is allowed to ferment for approximately 72 hours. The liquid that is left at the end of the fermentation process is known as fermented mash.
Distillation takes place in a distilling column and a pot still, which is a large copper or stainless steel kettle. Distilling involves boiling the "fermented mash" and condensing its vapour. The spent sludge remaining in the pot still is removed to be processed. The company's white spirits are then diluted with demineralized water to the desired alcohol content in a white spirits blending tank and sent to be packaged and bottled after filtering.
Brown spirits are diluted with demineralized water and then aged in oak barrels for three to eight years depending on the brand. The aged alcohol is then further diluted with demineralized water before bottling. Liquor concentrate alcohol and caramel color are added. The brown spirits are passed through filters and then bottled and packaged. ThaiBev also makes Chinese herb spirits, branded as Chiang-Chun and Sua Dum. These are produced by blending alcohol, white spirits, sugar, caramel, and Chinese herbs, and then further diluting the mixture with demineralized water.
Everton-Chang is a village on the Khao Lak coast in Phang Nga Province of Thailand. It consists of 50 houses and a football field. It was built following the 2004 tsunami that struck the area and destroyed the existing village of Ban Naan Khem. Local youth teams compete for the Chang-Everton cup. Officials from Everton F.C. and Chang Beer have been involved in the project. Together, they sponsor Chang Everton Football Cup and send promising Thai footballers to Liverpool for a trial with Everton.
Criticism and protest
In 2005, the company became subject of nationwide criticism by the Buddhist monastic community and other religious groups. At the time, Thai Beverage had announced to publicly list in the Stock Exchange of Thailand, which would be the biggest listing in Thai history. Despite attempts by the National Office of Buddhism (a government agency) to prohibit monks from protesting, two thousand monks of Wat Phra Dhammakaya organized a chanting of Buddhist texts in front of the Stock Exchange to put pressure to decline Thai Beverage's initial public offering.[note 1] In an unprecedented cooperative effort, the temple was soon followed suit by former Black May revolt leader Chamlong Srimuang and the Santi Asoke movement, holding their protest as well. Subsequently, another 122 religious and social organizations joined, belonging to several religions. The organizations officially asked Prime Minister Thaksin's cooperation to stop the company, in what some of the protest leaders described as "a grave threat to the health and culture" of Thai society. While the Stock Exchange pointed out the economical benefits of this first local listing, opponents referred to rising alcohol abuse in Thai society, ranking fifth in alcohol consumption. Ultimately, the protests led to an indefinite postponement of the listing by the Stock Exchange, as Thai Beverage chose to list in Singapore instead, and the Stock Exchange chief resigned because of the loss of profit.
- The temple used the project name "Thai Buddhist Monks National Coordination Center".
- "About Us". ThaiBev. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- ThaiBev Annual Report 2015. Bangkok. 2015.
- Khettiya Jittapong (22 January 2013). "Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi builds empire with F&N takeover". Reuters.
- Head, Jonathan (3 February 2013). "Thai whiskey tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi takes over Fraser and Neave". BBC News. Archived from the original on 2013-02-03. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
- Beer Awards
- Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn (21 August 2015). "ThaiBev consolidates all beers into Chang Classic to shake up market". The Nation.
- 31.08.05 Carlsberg Asia Presentation.pdf
- Hills, Jonathan (5 April 2005). "CSR and the alcohol industry: a case study from Thailand". CSR Asia. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- Kazmin, Amy (19 March 2005). The Financial Times. Retrieved 29 November 2016..
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- ขบวนการต้านน้ำเมา ร้อยบุปผาบานพร้อมพรัก ร้อยสำนักประชันเพื่อใคร? [Resistance against alcohol: a hundred flowers bloom fully, and for who do a hundred institutions compete?]. Nation Weekend (in Thai). The Nation Group. 4 March 2005. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
- "Protests 'halt' Thai beer listing". BBC. 23 March 2005. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- "5,000 Buddhists protest against listing breweries on Thai exchange". Today Online. Agence France-Presse. 20 July 2005. Retrieved 29 November 2016 – via The Buddhist Channel.
- Kazmin, Amy (4 January 2006). The Financial Times. Retrieved 29 November 2016..
- "Thai Bourse Chief Quits After Losing I.P.O. to a Rival". Financial Times. 25 May 2006. Retrieved 29 November 2016 – via New York Times.