SMC looks at Thailand beer and packaging markets

San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is setting its sights on the Thailand beer and packaging markets as part of the company“s “regional play” in the next six months.
“BusinessWorld“ learned the company is keen…

San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is setting its sights on the Thailand beer and packaging markets as part of the company“s “regional play” in the next six months. “BusinessWorld“ learned the company is keenly looking at Thailand for possible strategic alliances and acquisitions. This is given to the success of the trading business of La Tondena Distillers, Inc., wholly owned subsidiary of SMC, in Thailand. SMC is choosing between Thai Charoen and Boon Rawd Brewery Co. Ltd., reportedly the Thai market leaders. Thai Charoen produces Beer Chang, which reportedly accounts for half the Thai beer market. Boon Rawd is Thailand“s first and largest brewery, founded by Phraya Bhirom Bhakdi in 1933. Boon Rawd produces Singha Beer, and has a total annual production capacity of one billion litres. The firm operates three breweries and six factories in Thailand. Aside from exporting Singha Beer, Boon Rawd produces in two breweries in Germany and in a joint venture brewery in China. The source said any strategic alliance or acquisition will be made jointly by SMC and La Tondena Distillers. SMC already has breweries in Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia. Only recently, La Tondena Distillers reported that in the third quarter alone, it sold close to 200,000 cases of various liquor products in Thailand. The company also said its goal is to double these orders by the end of 2001. Aside from Thailand, La Tondena Distillers also sells in the United States and Japan.