SMC expands presence in Australian wine industry

MANILA, Philippines – The packaging unit of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) further expanded its presence in Australia with the acquisition of Portavin Holdings Proprietary Limited, the leading independent wine services supplier in the land down under.

SMC said in a statement on Monday, February 6, that its unit San Miguel Yamamura Packaging International Limited (SMYPIL) has bought 100% of shares in Portavin.

Portavin is a privately owned company involved in the bottling of wine, trading, and distribution of packaging products.

It has operations in 4 key regions in Australia – New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia.

"These acquisitions will enable our packaging business to further expand in Australia and New Zealand. Portavin and Endeavour Glass will complement our current packaging operations, Cospak and Vinocor," SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said, without divulging details of the acquisition.

According to The Guardian, Australia's overall wine exports grew 7% to $2.2 billion in 2016. Momentum is expected to continue this year, driven by China's increasing thirst for premium wines.

Growth opportunities abroad

"Other than the Australasian region, we will continue to look for opportunities of growth for our packaging business in the Philippines and abroad," Ang added.

With 27 years experience, Portavin is bottling more than 80 million bottles annually for over 800 wineries.

Portavin said the acquisition is in line with the growing confidence of both companies in the Australian wine industry and related packaging businesses in both the domestic and overseas markets.

SMC's packaging unit has been making acquisitions in Australia and New Zealand over the past few years.

In 2016, the SMYPIL group acquired the assets of Endeavour Glass Packaging Limited (Endeavour Glass). (READ: San Miguel to spend $300M for brewery expansion in CDO, Laguna)

Located in New Zealand, Endeavour Glass specializes in providing packaging solutions to the wine, beverage, and food industries.

Other recent business acquisitions in the area include the purchase of the assets of Vinocor in 2015, a market leader in the supply of corks and closures for wine bottles in Australasia.

This was after SMC acquired Cospak, one of the largest packaging firms in the region.

SMYPIL is a joint venture between SMC and Japan's Nihon Yamamura Glass Company Limited. –