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San Miguel says Kirin completes investment

The Philippines“ dominant food and beer firm San Miguel Corp said on 6 March that Japan“s Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd. had completed its purchase of a 15% stake in the firm and has paid the company US$ 54…

The Philippines“ dominant food and beer firm San Miguel Corp said on 6 March that Japan“s Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd. had completed its purchase of a 15% stake in the firm and has paid the company US$ 540 million for the investment. San Miguel formally accepted Kirin as its first major foreign shareholder on 27 February. Under the new shareholding structure, the government“s interest shrinks to about 38.6%, including 11.8% held by state pension funds and 26.8% sequestered and held on behalf of coconut farmers. San Miguel Chairman Eduardo Cojuangco“s stake dwindles to 19.3% and Kirin will hold 15%. The rest are to be held by the public and the San Miguel retirement fund. Before the transaction, the government voted on some 44% of San Miguel stock, while Cojuangco voted on about 22%. Kirin“s US$ 540 million payment will help the Philippine company raise a US$ 1 billion war chest for acquisitions in the food and beverage sector this year, company executives earlier said. On 4 March, San Miguel Vice Chairman Ramon Ang said that the company was in discussion with rival food and beverage firm RFM Corp. for the possible acquisition of its meat and poultry unit Swift Foods Inc. In 2001, San Miguel completed the purchase of a majority stake in Coca-Cola Philippines from Coca-Cola Amatil and took over processed meats manufacturer PureFoods from Ayala Corp. It also bought RFM Corp“s 83% stake in soft drinks firm Cosmos Bottling Corp.

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