Philippines. San Miguel Corp. planning P80 bln preferred shares offering

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San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has unveiled a plan to raise some P80 billion from the sale of preferred shares, the diversified conglomerate said in a disclosure to the stock exchange on January 14.

SMC intends to seek regulatory approval for the shelf registration of up to P80 billion worth of Series 2 preferred shares, or 1.066 billion shares at a price of P75 apiece. The shares will be issued for a period of three years.

The first tranche of the offer will involve the sale of 400 million preferred shares, yielding up to P30 billion, San Miguel said.

The company, however, did not indicate the timing of the issuance or how it intends to use the proceeds from the share sale.

SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang had said in October the company may raise as much as $1 billion from the sale of preferred shares to repay dollar debt.

In September, SMC raised P33.5 billion by selling preferred shares at P75 apiece to partly refinance P54 billion worth of similar securities due that month. Investors swamped that offering, which was five times oversubscribed.

San Miguel has some $13 billion equivalent of bonds and loans outstanding, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Of that, US currency notes total $6.8 billion, with a weighted average fixed coupon of 5%.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ang on January 15 said the conglomerate will partner with Japan’s Kirin Holdings Co Ltd if it bids for SABMiller PLC’s Grolsch and Peroni beer brands.

Mr. Ang told Reuters San Miguel was still interested in acquiring the European beer brands through San Miguel Brewery Inc. Kirin owns nearly 50 percent of San Miguel Brewery.

He did not say whether his company had already submitted a bid.

Anheuser Busch InBev which agreed to buy SABMiller has sought bids for Grolsch and Peroni and attracted a number of international suitors.

SMC plans to at least double its revenues to $40-50 billion in the next five years, through organic growth and acquisitions, Mr. Ang had said in October.

Led by Mr. Ang, the country’s largest food and beverage company started an aggressive diversification program in 2007 that saw the conglomerate make a series of acquisitions in attractive growth sectors such as infrastructure, fuel and oil, energy, telecommunications and banking.