SMB ties up with Spain's largest brewery

By Neil Jerome C. Morales, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 15 2014 07:35 AM | Updated as of May 15 2014 03:35 PM

MANILA - The international arm of San Miguel Brewery Inc. (SMB) is partnering with Spain’s largest brewery to make San Miguel an iconic global brand.

In a statement, SMB said its international unit San Miguel Brewing International Ltd., the largest brewer in Southeast Asia, and Spain’s leading brewer Mahou San Miguel (MSM) signed a cooperation agreement “to promote their international business and jointly position San Miguel as an iconic brand worldwide.”

This will allow the two brewers, linked by their shared history, to create a partnership framework with the goal of reaching more consumers and markets through the San Miguel brand.

“MSM and SMB share a long and storied history. Leveraging on the strength and depth of our category as well as presence in our respective markets can do a lot for ramping up San Miguel as a global flagship brand,” said Ramon S. Ang, chairman of SMB and president of parent firm San Miguel Corp.

The combined international sales of the two companies outside of the core and original Philippine market make San Miguel one of the top 10 global premium beer brands, SMB said. The brand is already available in 60 countries on all five continents.

The partnership “is a unique opportunity to release the brand’s enormous potential, promoting a common positioning across the globe,” said MSM chairman Javier López del Hierro.

The initiative will help transform the international business, for which the San Miguel brand already represents 90 percent of sales outside of Spain, he added.

In 1953, San Miguel Philippines granted branding rights for Europe and Mediterranean Africa to San Miguel Spain, giving rise to a new Spanish brewing affiliate in 1957.

Since then, the two companies have, independently although also in parallel, developed a positioning for San Miguel as a pioneering and international brand.

Given the recent partnership, the two companies will again be joining forces “to explore new markets with common interests, jointly promoting the brand with a range of options which will help extend the footprint of San Miguel around the globe,” SMB said.

MSM sells San Miguel products in key European markets such as the UK, Italy, Nordic countries and Germany.

In 1890, the first San Miguel brewery was set up in Manila’s San Miguel district. It was also the year when Mahou was founded as a family-owned company producing beer and ice in Madrid.