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U.S. Hedge Fund Davidson Kempner Said to Build Up Stake in F&N

Davidson Kempner Capital Management LLC, a $19 billion U.S. hedge fund manager, has been building up a stake in Fraser & Neave Ltd., the Singapore property and soft drinks company at the center of rival takeover bids, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

Davidson Kempner, based in New York, has accumulated just under 5 percent of Fraser & Neave, said the person, who declined to be identified as the information is private.

Reuters reported Davidson Kempner’s Fraser & Neave holding earlier today. Robert Siegfried, an outside spokesman at Kekst & Co. retained by Davidson Kempner, didn’t reply to an e-mail or answer his office telephone outside of business hours today.

Thailand’s richest man Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi agreed to buy a 22 percent stake in Fraser & Neave in July, setting off a fight for the company’s soft drink and property assets, and prompting the sale of its beer unit to Heineken NV.

Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd., a Singapore-based property company, has enlisted Kirin Holdings Co., Japan’s largest drinks maker, in its rival bid in which OUE would get Fraser & Neave’s property assets and Kirin the food and beverage unit.

OUE extended its S$13.1 billion ($10.7 billion), or S$9.08 per share, offer for Fraser & Neave to Jan. 14, according to a stock exchange statement on Jan. 3. Charoen’s TCC Assets earlier delayed the closing of its S$8.88 per share offer to Jan. 10.

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