MANILA, Philippines – Ramon Ang-led San Miguel Corp. (SMC) confirmed Monday, July 8 it was in talks with Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) for a possible partnership in legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL).
“There have been preliminary discussions with ANA on Philippine Airlines,” the company stated in a dislcosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
“An appropriate discussion shall be made to the exchange at the proper time on developments relating to this particular matter,” it added.
An Inquirer report quoting sources said the conglomerate also had “initial” discussions with Dubai-based Emirates Airlines. SMC however denied this.
“Emirates Airlines has not approached the company,” it said.
SMC and the Lucio Tan family own PAL.
The Tans previously announced they were looking to sell a 51% stake in PAL.
Michael Tan, son of the tycoon, said PAL was a “non-core” business and it was not “strategic to our long-term plan.”
The younger Tan is president of LT Group Inc., the holding firm for the family’s assets.
LT Group is involved in consumer-related businesses such as tobacco and beer and liquor manufacturing through Fortune Tobacco Corp., Asia Brewery Inc. and Tanduay Distillers; real estate through Eton Properties Philippines Inc.; and banking through Philippine National Bank.
Ang, PAL Holdings president, had previously said SMC preferred a profitable and well-known airline as strategic partner in PAL when the Tan family finally exits the airline.
ANA is one of the largest airlines in the region and Japan’s biggest in terms of passenger volume.
SMC acquired a 49% stake in PAL in April 2012 following financial and labor troubles that hounded Asia’s first commercial airline for years.
Under SMC, PAL launched a massive refleeting program aimed at acquiring 100 new aircraft to replace its existing fleet. – Rappler.com