San Miguel Brewery to go public again?

PRIVATE TO PUBLIC? San Miguel Brewery, the delisted country's biggest brewer, may make a stock exchange comeback. File photo by AFP

PRIVATE TO PUBLIC? San Miguel Brewery, the delisted country's biggest brewer, may make a stock exchange comeback.

File photo by AFP

MANILA, Philippines - Will San Miguel Corp. (SMC) take its beer business public again?

It's a possibility, said the company's chairman and CEO Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr. during a stockholders' meeting on Tuesday, June 11.

"Let's wait. We're not giving up yet," he said.

San Miguel Brewery Inc. delisted from the Philippine Stock Exchange's official registry on May 15 for failing to comply with the 10% minimum public ownership (MPO) requirement.

The company went private after its shareholders -- SMC and Japan's Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. -- refused to sell down.

SMC president and COO Ramon Ang however clarified in a press briefing that the positions of the shareholders have not changed.

"We can't re-list because Kirin is not willing to go down. We are not willing to go down. We want to maintain 51% and they want to maintain 48%," said Ang. "So who will blink? You think we will blink? No. You think they will blink? No. So, it would take a long time."

Trading in San Miguel Brewery and other public float-deficient SMC units was suspended January 1. The firms were given until end-June to comply with the MPO requirement.

Food giant San Miguel Purefoods Inc. was able to comply with rule. Real estate firm San Miguel Properties Inc. already voluntarily delisted. 

PAL Holdings Inc., owner of legacy carrier Philippine Airlines, plans to sell shares to avoid delisting.

"PAL is not going to be delisted," Cojuangco assured stockholders.

Ang said, "I think they (PAL Holdings) can comply. The banks we tapped (to sell shares) are handling the situation."

PAL Holdings' board earlier approved the sale of 2.415 billion shares within June to increase the company's public float to 10.2% from 0.6%. – with a report from Ramon Calzado/Rappler.com