MANILA, Philippines - San Miguel Pure Foods Co. Inc. hopes to seal its purchase of Southeast Asian firms engaged in the meat processing business this year as it seeks to bolster its operations abroad.
In an interview, Pure Foods president Francisco Alejo III said the company is currently in talks with companies in Indonesia and Vietnam for possible acquisitions.
“We are actually looking at Vietnam and Indonesia where we already have businesses. We’re looking at processed meats because that is our core competency,” Alejo said.
“Hopefully (we can finalize) within the year for Vietnam. For Indonesia, that maybe later,” he added.
Alejo described the two foreign companies it is currently in discussions with as having “substantial market shares in their region.”
“In Vietnam, processed meat is a relatively new category although they are a pork-eating country. So we feel that in the long term, there is a growth opportunity,” he said.
Alejo said Pure Foods has earmarked about P8 to P10 billion for its capital expenditures this year, a portion of which will be used for potential acquisitions.
“Our focus is really on acquisition because that is one way of fast tracking the growth of San Miguel,” he said.
“If you look at our balance sheet, we have a very strong balance sheet. We have a lot of room to raise funds through borrowings and we have enough cash today because we sold Meralco shares last year,” added Aida Postrado, chief finance officer of Pure Foods.
Pure Foods at present has manufacturing plants in Vietnam and Indonesia.
In the Philippines, the firm acquired in November last year the trademarks, formulations, recipes and other intangible properties relating to the La Pacita biscuit and flour-based snack business of Filipino-owned biscuit company Felicisimo Martinez and Co. Inc.
Aside from its existing portfolio consisting of dairy, agro, milling and processed meats, Alejo said Pure Foods is also looking to venture into other food-related businesses like condiments and snacks.
Read more on The Philippine Star.