San Miguel wants steep premium for share sale

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 26 2011 04:06 PM | Updated as of Feb 10 2011 02:56 AM

Share sale eyed within Q1


MANILA, Philippines - San Miguel Corp. plans to price a share offer in the first quarter at a steep premium to the current market price, its president said, setting it at a level that would raise more than P200 billion.

The issue would be priced at more than P200 ($4.5) per share, 20% or more above Wednesday's closing price, San Miguel president Ramon Ang said.

In December, Ang said the sale would be at least 1 billion shares.

San Miguel shares fell as much as 2.2% on Wednesday before erasing its losses to end flat at P160.5.

They have more than doubled since late October, and hit a peak of P189.5 early this month.

"Definitely," Ang said when asked about a share price of more than P200. He had said last year the shares may be sold at P150 to P200 apiece.

Given Ang's estimate, the offer would raise more than P200 billion ($4.5 billion) for San Miguel, dwarfing the country's biggest initial public offer in dollar terms, a listing of just over $600 million by Cebu Pacific last October.

San Miguel said the money would help fund further investments in power, infrastructure, mining, telecommunications -- the areas it has entered into in the past 3 years or so as it diversifies away from its traditional food and beverage businesses.

It is not clear how the sale would be organized.

The offer is seen to increase San Miguel's public float, which is below the 10% minimum threshold. The low free float level triggered San Miguel's removal from the roster of blue chip firms making up the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) index.

The PSE has said it was giving listed companies one year to comply with the minimum public float rule without incurring penalties. - Reuters