Kirin open to bigger stake in SM Brewery

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 03 2014 07:48 AM | Updated as of Apr 03 2014 09:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Japan’s biggest beverage maker Kirin Holdings Co. Inc. remains open to increasing its stake in San Miguel Brewery Inc. (SMB).

On the sidelines of listing ceremonies of SMB’s P15 billion worth of bonds, SMB executive vice president Teruyuki Daino said Kirin would consider increasing its investment in SMB if offered.

Kirin currently holds about 48 percent of the Philippine beer maker. Highly diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. owns at least 51 percent of SMB.

“We’re satisfied with what we have. But if SMC would like to sell its stake to another partner then I think Mr. (Senji) Miyake, the president of Kirin, will take it seriously and make its own valuation. Then if we have the official offer from SMC, we will take it seriously,” Daino said.

San Miguel president Ramon S. Ang earlier said he has received several offers of as much as $6 billion for a 51-percent ownership in SMB. The conglomerate announced plans to fund its ambitious diversification away from food and drinks towards high-growth industries including oil, power, infrastructure, and mining.

SMB, which controls 90 percent of the local market, has P22.4 billion of bonds due next month which will be funded by proceeds from the recent issuance of P15-billion bonds.

Mercy Marie Amador, chief financial officer of SMB, said the company continues to be on the lookout for opportunities overseas ahead of Asean integration. For one, it is considering building a new plant in Cambodia.

SMB currently has breweries in Indonesia, Vietnam, South China, Thailand and Hong Kong.

The company has earmarked about P1 billion for capital expenditures this year, mainly for maintenance and upgrade of existing facilities.