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February 20, 2009

Japanese brewer in 1bn deal with Philippines’ San Miguel

Japan's Kirin Holdings has reached a billion-dollar deal with San Miguel Corp to buy a large stake in its brewing unit in the Philippines, AFP quoted a report as saying.

Kirin is set to spend 100 billion yen ($1.06 billion) to purchase a 43.25 percent interest in San Miguel Brewery Inc, the Nikkei economic daily said without naming its sources.

The deal would leave San Miguel Corp - Southeast Asia's largest food and beverage group - with a 51 percent stake.

The Japanese brewer said in January that it had agreed to enter exclusive negotiations with the Philippine conglomerate about investing in San Miguel Brewery.

Kirin has said the two companies aim to sign a definitive agreement by the end of February on the investment in San Miguel Brewery, which produces beer at five manufacturing facilities in the Philippines for the domestic market.

The Nikkei said Kirin would also likely use San Miguel's brewery to produce its own beer products for sale in the Asia-Pacific region. No immediate conformation of the report was available from Kirin.

"Nothing concrete has been decided at the moment," a company spokesman said, adding Kirin would disclose any decision promptly.

San Miguel Corp which is about 20 percent owned by Kirin Holdings, has recently sold off several units to amass a cash pile for new businesses with high growth potential such as utilities and mineral resources.

In 2007 Kirin acquired National Foods Ltd., a leading Australian maker of dairy products and beverages, from San Miguel in a 2.6-billion-dollar deal.

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