I declare today’s ST page 1 story on the Heineken bid for APB unreadable. For crying out loud, you need the patience of a saint, go over the whole thing five times, and STILL can’t make sense of who is fighting over which piece of what stuff. The article chokes you with numbers. You would have thought a graphic on all the parties and how they relate to each other would have clarified matters easily. So thankfully, there was BT, which had a graphic. Odd, since a business paper could roughly expect that its readers would understand the battle lines, but a general paper must expect that most of its readers would not….
Anyway, there I was trying to make sense of why this is such a big deal. A corporate battle is always interesting I suppose, especially among big name playersand with big money. I mean, won’t I get to drink Tiger beer still? Then I turn to the Insight pages in ST about the worry pver yet another Singapore icon disappearing into foreign hands. Hmm. Sentimental value versus business considerations? How protective should we be about our treasured icons? If we are too protective, we can’t blame other countries from doing the same to our Singapore businessmen who want a piece of something iconic from them. Some of our own already facesuch problems.
What we should be protective about is stuff that is of strategic value to Singapore - do we want PSA in foreign hands?
As Eu Yan Sang’s Richard Eu said, its the heritage, not the owner that counts. Raffles hotel is still around never mind its ownership change. While we can’t say Tiger Beer is Singapore-owned, we can say it’s a Singaporean brand (generalise a bit lah)
Kudos to the Singaporeans who make money from this battle. May Tiger Beer live forever.
AFTERNOTE: I found a graphic in the ST Money pages. Too late. Should have been with the P1 story.