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January 28, 2009

Philippine beverage giant to shed $830m in beer assets

San Miguel Corp said Wednesday it is spinning off 830.6 million dollars' worth of brewing assets as it pursues a radical shift into new lines of business.

The board of San Miguel Corp, one of the Philippines' largest companies, approved the sale of its domestic beer brands, related intellectual property rights, and real estate used in the brewing business, AFP quoted the company as saying.

Its San Miguel Brewery Inc. unit bought the brands for 32 billion pesos (680.8 million dollars) and land worth 6.8 billion pesos, the listed companies said in separate statements.

Part of the real estate was sold to San Miguel Brewery's pension fund for 239 million pesos, it added. San Miguel Corp. last year acquired a 27 percent stake in power distributor Manila Electric Co. as well as a controlling stake in local oil refiner Petron Corp.

It has also announced plans to bid for the government's power generating assets as well as explore an alliance with Indonesia's PT Bumi Resources, which owns the world's largest thermal coal exporter, Kaltim Prima Coal.

San Miguel Corp. plans to sell portions of its packaging business this year. Earlier this month San Miguel Corp. and Japan's Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. announced they had signed an agreement to negotiate the sale of up to 43.25 percent of San Miguel Brewery to Kirin by February.

The deal would leave San Miguel Corp. -- Southeast Asia's largest food and beverage group -- with a 51 percent stake. Kirin separately holds a 20 percent stake in San Miguel Corp.

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