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Thai Billionaire Charoen Appointed Chairman of Fraser & Neave

Bloomberg Billionaires
Graphic: Bloomberg Visual Data

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s richest billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi became chairman of Fraser & Neave Ltd. after his S$13.8 billion ($11.2 billion) takeover of the 130-year-old property and beverage company.

The appointment is effective from Feb. 28, Singapore-based F&N said in a statement yesterday. Charoen, 68, replaces Lee Hsien Yang, who stepped down Feb. 26. Wanna Sirivadhanabhakdi, 69, Charoen’s wife, was named the vice chairman.

Charoen won control of F&N in January after his Jan. 18 offer of S$9.55 a share gained the backing of a majority of shareholders and topped a proposal from rival Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd. The deal gives Charoen control over a company that has assets from soft drinks to serviced apartments across Southeast Asia. The billionaire first invested in F&N in July, setting off a fight for its assets that led to the biggest acquisition of a Singapore-based company.

Pailin Chuchottaworn, president and chief executive officer of PTT Pcl, Thailand’s biggest company, also joined the F&N board, along with Chan Heng Wing and Charles Mak Ming Ying, according to the statement. F&N’s board now has nine members after the appointments.

Lee, the former chief executive officer of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., is the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chanyaporn Chanjaroen in Singapore at cchanjaroen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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