RFM expects to close Swift deal this month

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña, The Philippine Star

Posted at Oct 10 2012 07:24 AM | Updated as of Oct 10 2012 03:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Food and beverage conglomerate RFM Corp. said yesterday it expects to complete talks for a joint venture or outright sale of its Swift meats business this month.

From the original five companies that signified interest in its meat operations, RFM is talking to just Century Canning Corp. and is hoping to close a deal within the month.

When asked to comment, Century Canning owner Ricardo Po Sr. said: “Negotiations are ongoing and no final agreement has been reached.”

Century Canning aims to beef up its meat manufacturing business with the planned purchase of the Swift meat group, which processes hotdogs, bacon, hams, corned beef, luncheon meat and sausages.

The divestment of the Swift meat group will allow RFM to focus on further building up its leading branded consumer products which include Selecta ice cream (a joint venture with multinational firm Unilever), Fiesta pasta and sauce, White King (cake mixes and flour-based products), Sunkist fruit juices and Selecta milk-based products.

RFM stressed that the Swift processed and canned meat business are assets and business owned by RFM and not Swift Foods Inc., which is no longer part of the RFM Group.

“This transaction, therefore, is not connected with SFI, which used to be the chicken company of the group but was later spun off and sold to the public,” RFM said.