RC Cola expands presence in SE Asia

By Neil Jerome C. Morales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 20 2014 07:50 AM | Updated as of Jan 20 2014 03:50 PM

MANILA - The exclusive manufacturer and distributor of RC Cola in the Philippines is expanding its presence in Southeast Asia by putting up two new manufacturing plants in Thailand and Myanmar.

“We have Thailand and Myanmar... we are planning (to start construction) this year,” Asiawide Refreshments Corp. (ARC) chairman Alfredo M. Yao told reporters on the sidelines of the annual reception for the banking community hosted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Yao also said international operations would be boosted by the new plants while production hubs in neighboring countries are also on the drawing board.

Each manufacturing plants has a capacity of 25 million cases per year, Yao said.

Asiawide Refreshments is also under negotiations to acquire the licensed bottler of RC Cola in Thailand.

The expansion is also in line with plans of the RC Cola bottler to be competitive by the time the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community (AEC) starts in 2015.

The AEC would facilitate free flow of goods, services, labor, investments as well as capital in the regional economic bloc, much like the efforts implemented by the Eurozone.

“Our production is low cost,” Yao said.

Locally, Asiawide Refreshments, through Mega Asia Bottling Corp., has an annual capacity of 100 million cases. RC Cola is franchised by the Yao family from Royal Crown Cola International.

Asiawide Refreshments is also looking at starting operations in other ASEAN countries, Yao said.

The company would debut in the local bourse through a backdoor listing that would be completed in the first quarter, Yao said.

In September, Yao-led Mazy’s Capital Inc. bought shell company and listed firm Maybank ATR Kim Eng Financial Corp. for P3.19 billion. Mazy’s subsidiary ARC Refreshment Corp. would acquire Asiawide Refreshments and Mega Asia Bottling.