SMC buys Australian bottler
Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has struck a deal to buy privately owned Portavin Holdings Pty. Ltd., a leading independent wine services supplier in Australia in a move to scale up its packaging business in the Asia-Pacific.
In a press statement late Friday, SMC said it had acquired 100 percent of Portavin through San Miguel Yamamura Australasia Ltd., a subsidiary of packaging arm San Miguel Yamamura Packaging International Ltd. (SMYPIL).
Portavin has operations in four key regions of Australia: New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. It packages more than 80 million bottles per year for over 800 wineries.
Apart from wine bottling and packaging, Portavin’s products and services include dry goods supply, technical laboratory services, wine warehousing and logistics, airline wine, mobile wine bottling, bulk wine storage, yeast and fermentation products, wine export services and filtration products.
SMC’s purchase of Portavin is another vote of confidence on the Australian and New Zealand markets. Last year, SMYPIL also acquired the assets of Auckland-based Endeavour Glass Packaging Ltd. (Endeavour Glass), which specializes in providing packaging solutions to the wine, beverage and food industries.
This latest acquisition further expands the offshore footprint of the San Miguel Packaging Group, which already has three facilities in China, one each for glass, plastics and paper as well as two facilities in Vietnam, one for glass and another for metal. In Malaysia, it operates four facilities, including a packaging research center. In Australia, it has a plastics plant, a wine closure and bottle trading facility. It also has a plastics and glass trading facility in New Zealand.
In 2015, the San Miguel group also took over Vinocor, a market leader in the supply of corks and closures for wine bottles in Australasia. Prior to this, it also acquired Cospak, one of the largest packaging firms in the region.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said the firm would continue to look for opportunities to grow its packaging business, including here in the Philippines.
“Since they haven’t discussed the valuation of the acquisition, it is too premature to conclude that this new investment is significant enough to move the needle for SMC’s earnings. Having said that, their diversification back into Australia in terms of packaging has been generally positive,” said Jose Mari Lacson, head of research at fund management firm ATR Management. “So far, what has driven SMC’s earnings had been favorable commodity prices and strong demand for its consumer related businesses in 2016 to which the packaging is a complimentary segment. Infrastructure, however, is viewed to be the next stage for the group’s earnings.”
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