San Miguel eyes Asian airline to skirt US limits
Posted on Jun 27 2012 by admin

This is a re-posted article.

SAN MIGUEL Corp. is working on buying an Asian airline as part of some ten acquisition deals in the pipeline seen to support a P1-trillion revenue target for 2015.

“We are, at the moment, evaluating several deals... There are at least 10 deals on the table right now, and we will report if we sign something,” said Ramon S. Ang, San Miguel president and chief operating officer at the firm’s annual stockholders’ meeting yesterday.

One of the deals the company is considering is a new investment in the aviation industry, following its acquisition last April of a 49% interest in Philippine Airlines (PAL) and low-cost offshoot Airphil Express.

“There is an opportunity for us to solve the Category 2 [limitations] by investing in regional airlines,” Mr. Ang said, referring to a ban imposed on local carriers’ plans to mount additional flights to the United States following a downgrade in the country’s safety rating.

“There are several opportunities for PAL to acquire a company in the region, and for us to have a good synergy in operating the AOC (air operating certificate) of this airline going to the [United] States or Europe,” Mr. Ang said.

He went on to reiterate the company’s interest in acquiring a state-owned or privately-held television station as well.

“We are seriously considering that option. There have been options being offered, and we are still evaluating,” Mr. Ang told reporters after the stockholders’ meeting.

These should support San Miguel’s goal of hitting P1 trillion in sales in the next three or four years, another official said.

The conglomerate recorded P536 billion in consolidated revenues last year.

“We expect San Miguel to post strong, double-digit compounded annual growth rates, driven primarily by the earnings contributions of... SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. and Petron Corp.,” Eduardo C. Cojuangco, Jr., San Miguel chairman and chief executive, said in a disclosure to the local bourse yesterday.

“The goal we have set may sound ambitious, but we believe it can be done through acquisitions and organic growth,” he said.

Already, shareholders yesterday have approved the conglomerate’s increase in its authorized capital stock to P30 billion from a previous P22.5 billion to pave the way for the issuance of 1.1 billion Series “2” preferred shares, with a par value of P5.00 apiece.

San Miguel shares rose by 0.26% to P114.50 apiece at the end of trading yesterday from P114.20 at its previous close.


By Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente
Source: BusinessWorld, June 15, 2012
To view the original article, click here.

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