Kirin open to raising stake in SMB
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - February 2, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Japan’s biggest beverage maker Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. is open to hiking its stake in San Miguel Brewery Inc. (SMB) and bringing its dairy business to the country.

Keisuke Nishimura, senior director of the board of Kirin told reporters on the sidelines of the Nikkei Asian Review Forum in Manila that the firm would be interested in raising its stake in SMB.

“If they have intention to sell their stakes, we are ready to talk to them. We don’t have any change about our stance. If there is a chance, we will talk,” he said. 

Kirin has a 48-percent stake in SMB, which is controlled by San Miguel Corp. (SMC). 

Even as the beer market is still growing, Nishimura said there are opportunities for SMB to grow in other business segments such as non-alcoholic beverages like soft drinks as the firm already accounts for 96 percent of the local market for beer.

SMB has earlier announced its plan to expand into the non-alcoholic beverage business through its move to seek consent from its bondholders to amend its articles of incorporation to be able to engage in the business of manufacturing, selling, distributing and dealing, in any and all kinds of beverage products.

SMB is expanding into the non-alcoholic beverage business as this particular product has a larger share of consumption and is growing at a much faster pace than the alcoholic category.

Nishimura said that apart from soft drinks, opportunities for dairy products are also strong in the country.

“Milk production in the Philippines is nothing. Dairy products are from foreign countries like New Zealand and Australia so we should check if we can start the dairy product business in the Philippines,” he said. 

As SMC has dairy products under the Magnolia brand, he said Kirin would be interested in opportunities to collaborate rather than compete.

“San Miguel has the Magnolia brand so we don’t compete with them. We just try to find out collaboration with their dairy business and Kirin dairy business,” he said.

 

BUSINESS DAIRY KEISUKE NISHIMURA KIRIN KIRIN HOLDINGS CO NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW FORUM NISHIMURA SAN MIGUEL SAN MIGUEL BREWERY INC
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