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SMB to be delisted; tender offer at P20/share

San Miguel Corp. has firmed up plans to delist crown jewel San Miguel Brewery Inc. from the local stock market and buy back shares at P20 each.

SMB is the biggest company to be brought back to private hands in recent years. A partnership between San Miguel Corp. and Japanese beer giant Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd., SMB has a market capitalization of P451.53 billion.

In a notice to stockholders published Monday, SMB said its board approved the voluntary delisting of the company as well as a tender offer to buy back 94.24 million minority shares—representing the 0.61-percent public float of the company.

The tender offer priced at P20 a share will start on March 4 and end on April 3 this year. The offer is 31.7-percent lower than SMB’s last traded price of P29.30 a share on Dec. 28 last year.

SMB was among the companies whose trading was suspended this year due to non-compliance with the 10-percent minimum public ownership required by the PSE for continued listing. Industry sources said SMB was unable to comply as SMC or Kirin was willing to reduce interest in the beer-maker.

Manny Cruz, chief strategist at local stock brokerage Asiasec Equities, said the delisting of SMB would have a favorable impact on parent firm SMC because the beer subsidiary was separately valued in the past. He said the fundamental value of SMB would now be better factored in into SMC’s share prices. “If you look at trading activities in SMC, there was some run-up as people have realized the fundamental value of the company,” he said. Doris C. Dumlao


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