San Miguel in talks with JG Summit to sell Meralco stake
MANILA, Sept 24
MANILA, Sept 24 (Reuters) - San Miguel Corp said on Tuesday it was in talks to sell more shares in power firm Manila Electric Co (Meralco) as the Philippines' most diversified conglomerate seeks to raise cash for several infrastructure ventures.
San Miguel President Ramon Ang told Reuters the company was in talks with holding firm JG Summit Holdings Inc to sell a stake in Meralco, the country's biggest electricity retailer with a market value of around $7.2 billion.
He declined to specify the size of the stake but San Miguel owns 27.1 percent of the Manila-listed power retailer. There was no immediate reply from JG Summit when asked about the issue.
Meralco's biggest single shareholder is Beacon Electric Asset Holdings Inc, which is owned by Metro Pacific Investments Corp and Hong Kong's First Pacific Co Ltd.
Beacon had said it was not keen to buy more shares in Meralco because that could trigger a general share offer. The group now owns nearly 50 percent of the power firm.
In July, San Miguel sold a 5.7 percent stake in Meralco, raising $400 million to fund expansion plans that include beefing up of other power assets.
San Miguel's shares, which had risen to their highest in almost five months on market speculation that it was seeking to sell a stake in Meralco, closed 5.6 percent higher on Tuesday while the main Manila stock index closed 0.26 percent lower. Meralco and JG Summit ended largely steady.
San Miguel, which started as a brewery more than a century ago, has aggressively expanded over the last four years into power, airlines, mining, telecoms, oil refining and distribution, and infrastructure.
(Reporting by Rosemarie Francisco; Editing by Miral Fahmy)
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