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San Miguel eyes majority stake in Philippines state refiner


October 29, 2008

San Miguel eyes majority stake in Philippines state refiner

Southeast Asia's largest food and beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corp is seeking to buy a majority stake in oil refiner Petron Corp, Reuters quoted San Miguel President Ramon Ang as saying Wednesday.

San Miguel is currently in talks with UK investment manager Ashmore Group, which said earlier on Wednesday it intends to raise its current stake of slightly over 50 percent to 90 percent in Petron by buying a block of shares the government is selling.

"Yes, we want to invest more than 50 percent," Ang said in a text message to Reuters when asked how much stake San Miguel is seeking in Petron.

Ashmore Group will exercise its right to buy an additional 40 percent stake in oil refiner Petron Corp which the Philippine government is selling, the president of Petron said Wednesday.

Ashmore currently holds slightly over 50 percent stake in Petron Corp and has the right of first refusal over the government stake.

"It is our right and we intend to exercise it," Eric Recto, Petron president and an Ashmore representative to the oil firm told Reuters.

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