San Miguel says may sell part of power unit

Posted at 11/24/11 12:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. said on Thursday it is in talks with investors interested in acquiring a portion of its power unit after it deferred a planned $850 million public offer due to market volatility.

The food-to-power firm told the stock exchange there were "ongoing talks with third parties who have expressed interest to acquire an equity stake in SMC Global Power Holdings Corp."

The company confirmed a report by Bloomberg quoting group president Ramon Ang who said San Miguel was "in talks with several" parties, which he did not name.

SMC Global Power had earlier deferred a planned an IPO worth up to P36.9 billion ($850 million), which would have been the country's biggest IPO. The sale was meant to fund more infrastructure and energy projects.

San Miguel was the country's dominant food and drinks firm for decades before an aggressive expansion saw it become the biggest power player. It also has interests in oil refiner Petron Corp., power distributor Manila Electric Co., infrastructure, coal mining, and telecommunications.

The group accounts for nearly 30% of installed capacity on the main Luzon island and has plans to add 3,000 MW of new capacity in the next 10 years via greenfield power projects requiring investments of about P90.4 billion.