San Miguel Brewery to buy back shares, delist from Philippine bourse

MANILA Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:09pm EST

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MANILA Feb 18 (Reuters) - San Miguel Corp's (SMC) flagship beer-making unit said it will launch an offer on March 4 to buy back shares held by minority stockholders at a steep discount to their last traded price before it delists from the Philippine Stock Exchange.

San Miguel Brewery Inc (SMB), also partly owned by Japan's Kirin Holdings Co Ltd, said on Monday it would buy back 94.24 million shares at 20 pesos per share at a cost of 1.9 billion pesos ($47 million).

Shares of SMB, which last traded at 29.30 pesos on Dec. 28, have been suspended from trading since Jan. 3 because of the company's failure to meet the bourse's minimum public float requirement of 10 percent.

The shares to be bought back from shareholders other than SMC and Kirin account for 0.61 percent of SMB's outstanding capital stock.

San Miguel directly owns 51 percent of SMB, the country's third-biggest listed firm with a market value of $11 billion. Kirin holds a 48.4 percent stake.

Earlier this month, another San Miguel unit -- San Miguel Properties Inc -- said it would also voluntarily delist from the bourse after failing to lift its public float.

The stock exchange has given the two San Miguel units and other companies suspended from trading because of inadequate public floats until the end of June to comply with the public ownership rule.

Failure to comply would mean delisting from the bourse. (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz)

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