San Miguel seeks more time to comply with SEC rule

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 08 2012 08:38 AM | Updated as of Dec 09 2012 01:57 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is seeking more time from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) for its other subsidiaries to comply with the local exchange’s minimum public ownership requirement.

In an interview with reporters, SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said the company has asked the PSE for an extension of the deadline for other subsidiaries including San Miguel Brewery Inc., San Miguel Properties Inc., and PAL Holdings Inc. to comply with the requirement.

“We have already officially written the PSE for an extension and we hope if and when they approve it we will be able to comply with the minimum public float requirement,” he stressed.

Late last month, SMC’s food arm San Miguel Pure Foods Co. complied with the local exchange’s minimum public ownership requirement following share sale thereby avoiding the threat of being delisted from the market.

SMC raised P6 billion after selling 25 million common shares of the unit to the public at P240 each last Nov. 23 bringing the public ownership to 15.8 percent from 0.08 percent.

The PSE has given non-compliant firms until the end of the year to meet the public float rule. Failure to do so, would lead to suspension and eventually delisting from the exchange.

“We finished Purefoods and we also hope to do the rest with the other subsidiaries,” Ang clarified.

San Miguel Brewery has a market capitalization of P530.12 billion but has a free float of only 0.61 percent while San Miguel Properties has a market capitalization of P66.93 billion but has a free float of only 0.06 percent.

On the other hand, PAL Holdings – the parent firm of national flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has a market capitalization of P40.66 billion and has 5.42 billion outstanding and listed shares equivalent to a free float of 2.3 percent.

“We are still trying. We are hoping we can get an extension for the other companies so we can comply with the PSE requirement,” Ang said.

SMC was established as a single product brewery way back in 1890 and is now the country’s largest beverage, food and packaging company with 100 facilities in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and China.

One of the country’s premier business conglomerates, SMC’s extensive product portfolio includes over 400 products ranging from beer, hard liquor, juices, basic and processed meats, poultry, dairy products, condiments, coffee, flour, animal feeds and various packaging products.