San Miguel aims at state-owned brewery

SAN Miguel is finalising plans to take a 51 per cent stake in a state-owned brewery in Vietnam as part of its continuing move to expand its Southeast Asian market.

''We are in the middle of negotiations and we expect to conclude the deal in March or April,'' said president and chief operating officer Carl Ottiger.

He declined to reveal details.

San Miguel exports beer to Vietnam through Hong Kong and direct from the Philippines.

''We are currently selling about half-a-million cases there,'' Mr Ottiger said.

''Vietnam is a fast-developing market which has just opened up to the foreign brewers.'' Previous reports said that the stake in the brewery, to be established in Hanoi, would cost San Miguel between US$35 million and $50 million.


Last year, the listed brewer bought a 49 per cent stake in Indonesia's second biggest brewery.

The initial investment was $42 million.

Mr Ottiger said Vietnam and Indonesia were fast-growing markets, unlike Singapore and Malaysia, which are either constrained by taxes or static population growth.