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A family face-off over Singapore's F&N

posted 20 Nov 2012, 08:04 by Mpelembe   [ updated 20 Nov 2012, 08:04 ]

Reuters Business  Report - Southeast Asia. A tourist's paradise, and the battleground for two very rich families.

One from Thailand, the other from Indonesia.

The prize? Fraser and Neave - a Singapore conglomerate with a presence in beverages, property, and publishing.

The multibillion dollar deal is set to be the region's biggest, and the winner is guaranteed a piece ofSoutheast Asia's ballooning consumer sector. So how do the two sides stack up?

Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi is worth 6.2 billion dollars, according to Forbes, making him the third richest person in Thailand, while Riady family patriarch Mochtar Riady is worth an estimated 650 million dollars, among the top 40 richest Indonesians.

The son of a Bangkok street vendor - Charoen built his fortune in liquor, with assets that now include Chang beer.

He's also a property player with a portfolio that includes this luxury hotel.

Mochtar Riady is the son of immigrant shopkeepers. He showed an early aptitude for banking and founded The Lippo Group, which has interests in finance, property and retail.

One unsual asset: San Diego Hills, a complex near Jakarta that includes a cemetery, park and an Italian restaurant.

Both families are of Chinese descent.

In 2006 - demonstrators and Buddhist monks took to the streets to protest Charoen's plans to list his firm Thai Beverage in Bangkok, fearing it would promote drinking.

He listed in Singapore instead.

In 2001 - the relationship between James Riady and Bill Clinton came into the spotlight.

James paid record fines and was barred from visiting the US after pleading guilty to making illegal contributions to the former President's campaign.

Both families with formidable resources, and regardless of the fate of F&N, likely to be at center stage as Southeast Asia becomes a bigger force in the deal making world.