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2011年7月12日 星期二

雀巢Nestlé押注徐福記

Lex專欄:雀巢押注徐福記
FT Lex: Nestlé
英國《金融時報》 Lex專欄





In the casino of dealmaking, a small bet on a potentially big return is often worth making. Nestlé has done just that. The S$2.1bn it is offering for 60 per cent of Singapore-listed Hsu Fu Chi is less than 1 per cent of the Swiss food group's market capitalisation. And the Chinese food maker will only add about 0.5 per cent to Nestlé's Sfr110bn in revenues last year. Yet for what is effectively a rounding error, the Swiss giant has agreed to buy an extensive distribution network in everyone's dream market. Hsu Fu Chi is a call option on growth in the Chinese middle class.


在撮合交易的賭場裡,用小額賭注押注於可能獲得的巨大收益,通常是值得的。雀巢(Nestlé)就押下了這樣一注。該公司將以21億新元收購在新加坡上市的徐福記60%的股權,這個金額還不到這家瑞士食品集團市值的1%。這家中國食品製造商將為雀巢增加的收入,僅相當於後者去年1100億瑞士法郎營收的約0.5%。然而,相對於幾乎可以忽略不計的收購成本,這家瑞士巨頭同意買入的,卻是一個遍布中國這個人人都垂涎的巨大市場的分銷網絡。徐福記是對中國中產階層壯大的看漲期權。

The option does not exactly come cheap. The S$4.35 per share offer price values​​ Hsu Fu Chi at a full 2​​6 times next year's earnings – about a 25 per cent premium to the company's share price before bid speculation broke out this month. Nestlé itself trades at 16 times its 2012 earnings. Furthermore, if Hsu Fu Chi, which has clashed with regulators in the past, were to suffer any health and safety problems, the reputation of Nestlé's broader business could suffer. Finally, there are disturbing precedents. Private equity group Blackstone and Unilever, the British food maker, have encountered regulatory trouble while attempting to raise food prices in China.


這個期權並不廉價。雀巢開出的每股4.35瑞士法郎的價格,是徐福記明年預期每股收益的整整26倍,較本月收購傳言出現之前的徐福記股價,溢價幅度達到25%。目前雀巢自己的股價是2012年預期每股收益的16倍。另外,徐福記曾經與監管機構有過不愉快的過去,如果它出現任何衛生與食品安全問題,可能損及雀巢旗下更廣泛業務的聲譽。最後,之前的一些先例令人憂心。私營股本集團黑石(Blackstone)和英國食品製造商聯合利華(Unilever)試圖在中國提價時,都遭遇了監管方面的麻煩。

Still, the downside for Nestlé is limited. Although many of Hsu Fu Chi's products are discretionary purchases, the food sector is still reasonably defensive. And if the investment sours, Nestlé's income statement will barely notice. Also, adverse currency swings are unlikely; there is pressure from all sides for the renminbi to appreciate. That would be welcome for Nestlé, which has for years watched the currencies of its important trading partners sink against the Swiss franc. The currency hedge provides a nice kicker for a bet worth making.


儘管如此,這筆交易對雀巢的不利之處是有限的。雖然徐福記的很多產品都不是必需品,但食品行業仍具有相當強的防禦性。如果這筆投資出現問題,給雀巢收入損益錶帶來的影響幾乎覺察不到。另外,也不太可能出現不利的匯率波動。人民幣面臨來自各方的升值壓力。對於雀巢而言這是有利的,近年來,雀巢重要貿易夥伴國的貨幣兌瑞士法郎匯率紛紛下跌。人民幣能夠提供的匯率對沖,為一個值得下的賭注提供了一個有力的“起腳牌(kicker)”。



Lex專欄是由FT評論家聯合撰寫的短評,對全球經濟與商業進行精闢分析

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