SMC completes purchase of Australian packaging firm

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DIVERSIFIED conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said its unit has completed its acquisition of an Australian packaging firm to grow its international packaging business and increase its leverage in the Australian and New Zealand markets.

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The conglomerate said over the weekend San Miguel Yamamura Packaging International Ltd. (SMYPIL), SMC’s international packaging arm, has acquired 100 percent of Portavin Holdings Pty. Ltd., a firm engaged in bottling of wine, trading, and distribution of packaging products in four key regions in Australia: New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia.

The transaction amount was not disclosed.

This is the fourth acquisition of SMYPIL in the Australian and New Zealand markets after it acquired the assets of Endeavour Glass Packaging Ltd. earlier in 2016. Endeavor Glass is an Auckland-based firm that provides packaging solutions to the wine, beverage, and food industries.

The other two business acquisitions include the purchase of the assets of Vinocor in 2015, a market leader in the supply of corks and closures for wine bottles in Australasia; as well as Cospak, one of the largest packaging firms in the region, years prior.

“These acquisitions will enable our packaging business to further expand in Australia and New Zealand. Portavin and Endeavour Glass will complement our current packaging operations, Cospak and Vinocor,” SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang said in a statement.

“Other than the Australasian region, we will continue to look for opportunities of growth for our packaging business in the Philippines and abroad,” he added.

Earlier reports said the SMC group was putting down about $300 million (about P14.9 billion) for its brewery and bottling business. The investment will be used to expand capacity at its Santa Rosa, Laguna plant and build a new brewery in Cagayan de Oro. SMC will also build a new glass plant in Pagbilao, Quezon that will produce glass products for the Australian and US markets.

SMC is set to raise P20 billion from the bond market later this month, which is part of its three-year P60-billion bond program under shelf registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Established in 1890, SMC is a diversified conglomerate led by businessman Ramon Ang. It is engaged in beverages, food and packaging (San Miguel Brewery Inc., Ginebra San Miguel Inc., San Miguel Pure Foods Company Inc.), fuel and oil (Petron), energy and power (SMC Global Power), infrastructure (Eagle Cement Corp.), and banking (Bank of Commerce).

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