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San Miguel unit to sell non-liquor business to Coca-Cola

La Tondena Distillers Inc., the liquor and beverage unit of San Miguel Corp. of the Philippines, said it will sell its non-liquor business to the Coca-Cola Co. for US$ 141 million.
The unit“s bottle…

La Tondena Distillers Inc., the liquor and beverage unit of San Miguel Corp. of the Philippines, said it will sell its non-liquor business to the Coca-Cola Co. for US$ 141 million. The unit“s bottled water and juice brands will be transferred to Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc. (CCBPI), which San Miguel and Coca-Cola recently jointly acquired from Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. of Australia for US$ 1.2 billion. La Tondena said the proceeds from the sale will strengthen its balance sheet, allowing debt to be reduced and expansion in domestic and regional markets to be pursued. The company said that while its water and juice sales account for 27% of total revenue, its hard liquor business remains a “solid driver of growth.” “We look forward to investing in growth opportunities for both our hard liquor business and our non-liquor businesses in conjunction with CCBPI,” said La Tondena and San Miguel Chairman Eduardo Cojuangco. The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2001.

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