Lucio Tan consolidates control of Victorias
MANILA, Philippines—The group of tycoon Lucio Tan has moved to increase its holdings in Victorias Milling Corp. in a move that is seen to be in line with a strategy to consolidate control of the country’s larges sugar milling company. The group already has management control of the sugar company.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, conglomerate LT Group Inc. (LTG) said it had acquired additional shares in VMC, thereby raising interest to 14.8 percent from 7.4 percent.
In the last few days, the LTG group was seen buying additional shares of VMC in the open market.
Prior to this transaction, the LTG group held a 7.4 percent stake in VMC through Tanduay Holdings Inc. but Philippine National Bank has a separate interest in the sugar firm. Combined interest was earlier estimated at 16 percent.
LTG’s consolidation of shares is seen as a defensive move given that VMC is seen in the radar of other interested parties, particularly the group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
Pangilinan’s interest is seen complementary to the First Pacific group’s regional food business through PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, one of the biggest food companies in Indonesia. On the other hand, VMC is likewise seen crucial to LTG, the former being a key sugar supplier to its beverage businesses.
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