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News: SMB prices IPO at P8 per share - 27 Apr 2008
San Miguel Brewery Inc., the domestic beer unit of San Miguel Corporation, has priced its initial public offering at P8.00 per share — the lowest end of its reduced price range of P8.00 to P11.00. 

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) yesterday, the firm also announced that it is selling a total of 770.524 million shares of common stock — also the lowest amount of its range which had set the maximum at 1.55 million shares.SMBI said 539.37 million of its shares have been sold to the international market adding that the International book was oversubscribed.

"We are very, very confident that our IPO will be successful despite current market conditions," said SMC president Ramon Ang noting that SMBI’s business "is solid and can withstand any conditions."

About 231.16 million shares are to be sold to the domestic market through the domestic Offering which is due to start on April 28 and end on May 6, 2008 in the Philippines. Listing date is set for May 12, 2008.The selling shareholders have granted the underwriters the right to purchase up to 115.58 million additional shares to cover over-allotments, if any.

SMBI did not disclose how much of the final offer shares are secondary shares to be sold by SMC and how many will be primary shares. But the firm had earlier said that 10 percent will be new shares and 90 percent secondary shares.

The firm earlier narrowed down the price range to the lower portion of its previous price range of P8 to P15.40 per share. This was already down from the original price range of P9.50 to P16.30 per share. Proceeds from the offering, estimated at P6.16 billion, will be used to cover capital expenditures. The listing of San Miguel Brewery is part of a broader plan to list all of the group’s operating units on the exchange, SMC said.

SMBI is looking to grow its business by expanding the domestic market instead of grabbing market share since it already has a dominant 95 percent share of the market.Ang said the aim is to raise the per capita consumption of beer in the country through more marketing efforts specially in underserved areas. However, SMB will also seek to raise its market share in areas where it has below average market share of about 85 percent.

Growth will also come from the provinces as they become increasingly urbanized and as the local economy grows. SMB is also seeking to grab the hard liquor market by by getting consumers to shift to SMB’s cheaper and higher alcohol-content beers.

Ang said rising tourist arrivals will also translate to higher beer consumption even as the government continues to support the growth of the tourism sector by promoting the country’s destinations overseas.

Meanwhile, SMBI reported a 37 percent jump in net income for the first quarter of the year to P2.5 billion with growth driven by increased volumes and continued cost management efforts.Net sales in the first quarter of the year rose 13 percent to P12.3 billion from P10.8 billion in the same period in 2007 due primarily to an 18 percent increase in sales volume to 47 million cases.Operating income amounted to P3.7 billion in the first quarter of 2008, an increase of 35 percent from the same period last year while EBITDA grew 31 percent to P4.2 billion.

Source: Manila Bulletin Online, By James A. Loyola, 26 April 2008

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