SINGAPORE (May 24): Shares of Fraser and Neave got a jolt of caffeine after the company, controlled by Thailand’s richest man, announced plans to enter the Thai coffee market.

F&N, better known for its 100Plus isotonic sports drink, jumped the most in 10 months after saying its joint venture unit would buy out Starbucks Corp’s operations in Thailand.

The deal --- that people with knowledge of the matter said could value Starbucks’ operations there at more than US$500 million ($687 million) -- sparked an early rally of as much 5.2% in F&N’s shares. Shares in F&N ended Friday 5 cents higher at $1.78, with 120.7 million shares changing hands.

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