Philippines' San Miguel eyes major acquisition

09:04, May 14, 2010      

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Philippine's diversifying conglomerate San Miguel Corp. is looking at acquiring another energy company this year, a move widely seen to complement its oil refining business.

The 2 billion U.S. dollar deal will give one of Southeast Asia' s biggest conglomerate a 60 percent stake in a "very good" energy company with a "very strong cash flow" and whose business was related to that of Petron Corp.-- Philippines' biggest oil refiner, San Miguel President Ramon Ang told reporters on Thursday.

"We are in the final stage of negotiation. The potential acquisition (is) worth at least 2 billion U.S. dollars in equity value," Ang said but stopped short of disclosing the identity of the energy firm.

San Miguel also wants to buy additional shares in Petron Corp. to secure a majority control and is interested in oil and gas firm PNOC-Exploration Corp. if the Philippine government will privatize it, Ang said.

To finance the acquisition, San Miguel will sell an additional 14 percent stake in its packaging business to Japanese partner Nihon Yamamura Glass, which will boost its war chest by another 100 million U.S. dollars.

Aside from the packaging business, the conglomerate will also trim down stake in its other core businesses, mostly food and beverage, Ang said.

"We just want the flexibility (but) there is no plan to give up a majority stake in the beer business," Ang said.



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