SMC’s Ramon Ang: ‘We sell assets because of bad partnerships’

Chrisee Dela Paz
SMC’s Ramon Ang: ‘We sell assets because of bad partnerships’
'Experiencing all those types of partnerships, I’d rather always buy the whole company unless the partner is honorable, which is very hard to come by,' San Miguel's Ramon Ang says

MANILA, Philippines – When a business partnership turns sour, the Philippines’ most diversified conglomerate, San Miguel Corporation (SMC), walks away.

SMC President and COO Ramon S. Ang told the audience of Forbes Global CEO Conference 2015 that looking for ideal business partners is probably the biggest challenge in diversifying a corporation.

“Experiencing all those types of partnerships, I’d rather always buy the whole company unless the partner is honorable, which is very hard to come by,” Ang told some global CEOs during the conference.

“For the last 7 years, we have sold assets because partnerships aren’t good and it’s better to walk away,” he added.

Established in 1890 as a brewery, San Miguel has evolved into one of the Southeast Asia’s largest conglomerates.

In 2007, San Miguel unveiled the company’s strategic growth plan: move away from the food and beverage business into heavy and high-growth industries.

San Miguel then started investing in power distribution and generation, oil refining, infrastructure, telecommunications, aviation and mining. 

Photo from Weber and Shandwick

According to Ang, it was a rough ride. His conglomerate has experienced selling certain businesses in the past because of bad partnerships. 

It was in September last year when Ang agreed to sell its legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) back to tobacco billionaire Lucio Tan.

In June this year, talks collapsed between Ang and the majority shareholders of GMA Network Incorporated for the businessman’s planned acquisition of a minority stake in the listed broadcast network.

Ang later told the audience of #FGCEO2015 that his comments on doing business with “bad” partners pertain only to businesses that the conglomerate had sold.

“Not all partners are bad. Don’t get me wrong. Some are good … Kirin, Yamamura, Hormel, Henry Sy,” Ang quickly remarked.  Rappler.com

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