San Miguel buys Australian firm Best Bottlers

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is boosting its presence in the Australian bottling and packaging industry, after it bought another firm, Best Bottlers Proprietary Limited, at an undisclosed cost.

SMC told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Tuesday, November 7, that its international packaging unit San Miguel Yamamura Packaging International has bought Best Bottlers, after Barossa Bottling and Portavin.

"As domestic and export demands grow, we continue to look for synergies and more opportunities for our packaging business," SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said in a statement.

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

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

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.

"Other than glass, we also see the potential to grow other packaging formats like cans, plastics, and tolling businesses," Ang said.

Located in Victoria, Australia, Best Bottlers is a wine bottling and packaging facility specializing in various formats of contract filling, like still and sparkling wines, cider, ready-to-drink and fruit juices.  

Back in May, the SMC chief disclosed that the conglomerate is spending $700 million for the construction of a packaging facility in Davao City. (READ: Meet Ramon Ang, Filipino billionaire and Duterte's friend)

To be located within SMC's 2,000-hectare industrial estate, the packaging facility will house a glass manufacturing plant with a capacity of 800,000 metric tons.

SMC's packaging business saw a 4% increase in revenues in the 1st half of 2017, partly because of higher contribution from its Australian operations.

Shares of SMC went up by P8 each to close at P114.80 on Tuesday. –