San Miguel Sees Bank Unit Sale Soon, Eyes Overseas Oil and Gas Deal


MANILA, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The Philippines' most diversified conglomerate, San Miguel Corp, said on Wednesday it is in talks to sell its unlisted banking unit soon, while eyeing an overseas oil and gas buy, as it strengthens its portfolio after a soured airline investment.

San Miguel, which kicked off an aggressive expansion in 2008 to add power, mining, telecoms, oil refining and infrastructure to its stable of food and beverage businesses, continues to seek acquisitions as it looks to double group revenues in five years, from around 850 billion pesos now ($19.10 billion).

But San Miguel, the Philippines' biggest revenue-making company, is not in a hurry to seal a purchase, although it is actively pursuing an offshore oil and gas deal, President Ramon Ang told reporters.

"It's definitely offshore, not Philippines, not China, not Vietnam," Ang said at his Manila office. He declined to give details, but said the group was targeting companies with good cash flow and strong earnings.

San Miguel, whose output is equivalent to 6.5 percent of the Philippines' gross domestic product, has cash of more than $4 billion, enough to fund any acquisition or investment, Ang said.

The group, also Southeast Asia's first brewer, has spent $11.6 billion on acquisitions since 2008, Reuters data shows.

But it is also the most indebted listed company, with total liabilities of 787.67 billion pesos ($17.7 billion) at the end of June, against total assets of 1.17 trillion pesos.


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