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San Miguel swallows Australian bottler Barossa

Latest acquisition to bolster Philippine company's regional packaging business

MANILA -- Philippine conglomerate San Miguel, best known for its eponymous beer, has acquired a wine bottler in Australia, expanding its packaging business in Oceania.

In a statement on Thursday, the company said its San Miguel Yamamura Australasia unit purchased Barossa Bottling Services. It did not disclose the value of the deal.

This is the second Australian wine bottler the company has acquired this year and the latest in a slew of acquisitions in the region. In February, the San Miguel unit completed the purchase of Portavin Holdings for 27 million Australian dollars ($20.7 million).

Last year, it acquired the assets of New Zealand-based Endeavour Glass Packaging, which services a variety of beverage companies. It had previously acquired Vinocor, a supplier of corks and caps for wine bottles, and Cospak, a packaging company.

Factoring in the latest acquisition, San Miguel expects its packaging business in Australia and New Zealand to contribute A$300 million in sales. San Miguel logged sales of 685.31 billion pesos ($13.56 billion) in 2016, up 1.94% on the year, while its consolidated net income surged 80.2% to 52.24 billion pesos.

"We remain bullish on the Australasian market and will continue to look for bigger and better opportunities in that region," San Miguel President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang said. "In the meantime, our Philippine operations will continue to expand to meet growing domestic and export demands."

San Miguel is expanding its power, oil, and infrastructure ventures, which are among the businesses it entered when it decided to diversify from food, beverages and packaging in 2007. In June, Ang said San Miguel would build a $15 billion to $20 billion integrated petrochemical plant in the Philippines this year, with the help of funding from a foreign partner.

San Miguel's shares rose 0.40% on Thursday, while Manila's benchmark index closed fractionally lower.

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