• Aboitiz power, food units eye Asean expansion

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    The Aboitiz group is gearing up to expand its power and food manufacturing units to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) next year.

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    “We are looking outside for both Pilmico Foods and Aboitiz Power. Nothing very firm as of now but there are some very good opportunities we are looking at in Asean,” said Stephen G. Paradies, chief financial officer of parent firm Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc.

    For its power business, Paradies said Aboitiz Power Corp. “started to look outside” the country given the constraints on the local power sector brought about by the Epira Law. He added that the company expects to build about 100 megawatts of power facilities in the Asean region within the year.

    Aboitiz Power recently concluded a P10-billion bond listing on the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp.

    “You can only own 20 percent of national capacity, and 30 percent of each grid, so we’re getting close to that in places like Mindanao with our new plant. We want to grow and grow outside [of the Philippines],” he said.

    Paradies added that the firm’s food unit Pilmico Foods has set its sights on Indonesia and Papua New Guinea after its entry in Vietnam in June where it acquired a 70 percent interest in aqua feed producer Vinh Hoan 1 Feed JSC for $20 million.

    “Well, we’re looking at Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. We’ve been looking there, but nothing has materialized yet, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to look at other areas,” he said.

    Asked if the company planned to venture into any other areas, he said Pilmico’s focus at the moment is to enter Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

    Expansion costs are still fluid but the P10 billion raised from the bond sale will partly finance AEV and its subsidiaries’ expansion projects, Paradies said.  He said the firm may put up another fundraising, if needed.

    AEV’s consolidated net income in the first half declined by 20 percent to P9.5 billion from P11.9 billion during the same period last year.

    Incorporated in 1989, AEV is the holding company of the Aboitiz Group of Companies, having businesses in power distribution, power generation and retail electricity supply (Aboitiz Power); financial services and portfolio investments (Union Bank); food manufacturing (Pilmico Foods); and real estate (Aboitiz Land).

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