• SMB stockholders not ready to reduce holdings

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    The comeback of San Miguel Brewery Inc. (SMB) to the local bourse may still take a long time, since the two groups a holding majority stake in the company is not yet willing to shed some of their interests in favor of the public.

    SMB was officially out of the Philippine Stock Exchange the prior month, after the firm decided to go on a voluntary delisting. The company decided to go on a voluntary delisting after it failed to come up with a way to comply with the local bourse’ minimum public ownership rule.

    Ramon Ang, San Miguel Corp. president and chief operating officer, said that the reason SMB wasn’t able to comply with the public float rule is because its partner in SMB was not willing to let go some of its stake in the local brewery. Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings Co. is the firm’s partner in SMB.

    “Kaya hindi natin maka-comply ’yun kasi Kirin is not willing to go down, we are not willing to go down. We want to maintain 51 [percent], they want to maintain 48 [percent]. So who will blink? Do you think they’ll blink? No, so matatagalan ’yun. [The reason why we weren’t able to comply is because no one is willing to shed their interest in SMB, so it will still take time],” Ang said after the conglomerate’s annual stockholders meeting.

    “Kailangan sabay bumigay [Both SMC and Kirin should simultaneously give up part of its stake in favor of the public],” he added.

    SMC Chairman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., on the other hand, said that the SMB has not given up yet on bringing the shares of group’s beer business back to the local bourse.

    “Magintay-hintay lang tayo. Hindi pa tayo sumusuko [Let’s just wait. We are not yet giving up]” he said.

    Meanwhile, the diversified conglomerate is initially planning to sell at 10 percent to 15 percent of its power business, SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., as it marks its entry in the local bourse this year.

    Ang said that SMC Global may raise $150 million through an initial public offering.

    The business mogul even said that the company is in the process of building several greenfield projects in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

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