Foreign firms eyeing piece of San Miguel’s food, beverage unit

Chrisee Dela Paz
Foreign firms eyeing piece of San Miguel’s food, beverage unit

Photo by Martin San Diego/Rapple

This is amid the San Miguel subsidiary's plan to sell up to 30% of its shares, earmarked at $3 billion, mainly through private placements

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Corporation (SMC) said several foreign firms are courting the listed conglomerate to buy a piece of its consolidated food and beverage unit, soon to be known as San Miguel Food and Beverage Incorporated.

There are plans to sell up to 30% of San Miguel Food and Beverage, which would translate to around $3 billion, SMC president Ramon Ang said on the sidelines of an annual stockholders’ meeting in Pasig City on Wednesday, November 22.

“There are several big, foreign companies that are offering. We think we will sell 30% of our traditional business. That’s around $3 billion,” Ang told reporters in Filipino, adding that the share sale is seen to be implemented in early 2018.

The sale, mainly through private placements, would help the enlarged unit meet the minimum public float requirement of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to increase the public float requirement of Philippine listed companies to 20% from the current 10% of issued and outstanding shares.

Last week, SMC said it is set to consolidate its food and beverage businesses under one unit through a P336.35-billion share swap deal.

Consolidating packaging, too

“Hopefully in the future, we can consolidate [our] packaging business into food and beverage also,” Ang said. (READ: Meet Ramon Ang, Filipino billionaire and Duterte’s friend)

SMC’s international packaging unit San Miguel Yamamura Packaging International has been on an acquisition binge – most recently buying Australia’s Best Bottlers Proprietary Limited. (READ: San Miguel buys Australian firm Best Bottlers)

Best Bottlers is SMC’s 5th acquisition in the Australasian region serving the wine industry.

Earlier this year, the diversified conglomerate’s packaging arm also acquired Barossa Bottling and Portavin, both located in Australia.

In the past years, the packaging group bought the assets of Endeavor Glass of New Zealand, and the cork and wine closures business of Vinocor, as well as major packaging provider Cospak.

SMC will have to seek the approval of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) for the share swap transaction. –

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