Friday, March 06, 2009

Kirin launches tender offer for San Miguel Brewery shares

Philippines - Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings Co. has offered to buy out minority shareholders of San Miguel Brewery, Inc. as it bids to increase its stake in the latter to nearly 50%.

In a disclosure issued on Friday, San Miguel Brewery said Kirin had offered to buy a remaining 886 million shares held by the public for P8.84 apiece, the same price it offered San Miguel Corp. for a 43% stake in the brewing unit.

"The purchase will be paid in cash," San Miguel Brewery said.

If Kirin obtains all of the minority shares, its stake will increase to 49%. San Miguel has said it would retain a majority.

San Miguel Corp. and Kirin last month forged a deal for the sale of 6.67-billion shares in San Miguel Brewery for P58.93 billion, giving the diversifying parent additional cash to finance its acquisitions.

The P8.84 per share price was four centavos more than San Miguel Brewery’s price last month when Kirin first announced its plans to become a major stockholder. Kirin then said the purchase would be made in two phases, to be completed by the end of May.

The agreement also provided that Kirin, San Miguel and San Miguel Brewery negotiate for the purchase of shares in the parent firm’s overseas beer business. San Miguel has breweries in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, northern and southern China, and Hong Kong.

The deal is expected to contribute to growth in Kirin’s Asia and Oceania business. Kirin estimates that San Miguel Brewery accounts for about 95% of the Philippine market. It produces and markets San Miguel Pale Pilsen, Red Horse, San Mig Light and five other affiliated brands.

Kirin is selling its 19.9% stake, or 628 million shares, in San Miguel to newly incorporated Q-Tech Alliance Holdings, Inc. for P39.61 billion to help finance its San Miguel Brewery stake purchase.

The market was already closed when the Kirin tender offer was disclosed.

Shares of the beer unit went up ten centavos to P8.60, while the ’A’ shares of mother firm, limited to local investors, fell 1.11% or P0.50 to P44.50. Its ’B’ shares, open to all investors, went up by 1.12% or P0.50 to P45.

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