Purefoods boosts public float to 15%

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MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Pure Foods Co. Inc. has widened its public ownership to 15.08 percent following the completion of a P6-billion equity deal that placed out some shares held by its parent conglomerate San Miguel Corp.

Prior to the transaction, San Miguel Pure Foods had a meager public float of 0.08 percent, way below the 10 percent minimum level required by the Philippine Stock Exchange for continuing listing on its bourse.

Apart from eliminating the risk of trading suspension and eventual delisting from the PSE for San Miguel Purefoods, the transaction allowed parent SMC to unlock fresh funds for its expansion.

SMC sold 25 million shares of its shares in the food unit at P240 per share, at a sharp discount to market prices and at the lower end of the P240 to P300 per share indicative range. The shares were crossed last Wednesday, completing the transaction, SMC told the PSE.

The share was arranged by Maybank ATR Kim Eng Financial Corp., Standard Chartered and UBS.

Other public companies failing to meet the 10 percent minimum public float requirement will result in a trading suspension at the PSE by the first trading day of 2013.

San Miguel Purefoods posted flat net profits in the first nine months due to high raw material and distribution costs but earnings picked up pace in third quarter given an improved operating environment and increased efficiency.

The company’s January to September net profits attributable to parent equity holders amounted to P2.96 billion, barely rising from the P2.94 billion bottomline in the same period last year. But for the third quarter alone, net profits surged by 31.6 percent year-on-year to P1.23 billion with the softening of some raw material prices, improved production efficiencies and favorable supply-demand environment in hog meat and chicken.

Nine-month consolidated revenues went up by 8 percent to P69.4 billion as business volume grew brought about by improved sales and marketing activities, new product introductions and better distribution network, combined with slightly better selling prices.

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