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San Miguel considers brewing in California

Los Angeles plant worth $150m planned to meet US demand

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San Miguel has a monopoly of the Philippine beer market, and exports so much to the U.S. that it can justify a brewery on the West Coast.   © Reuters

MANILA -- San Miguel, the company with the largest turnover in the Philippines, is looking at building its first U.S. brewery in Los Angeles, President Ramon Ang told reporters on Tuesday.

Existing exports to the U.S. would justify production there, Ang said on the sidelines of San Miguel Brewery's stockholder meeting.

San Miguel Brewery is partly owned by Japan's Kirin Holdings, and was created in 2007 after the conglomerate spun off its brewing to diversify into energy, infrastructure, and other industries.

The planned brewery would produce up to 2 million hectoliters annually and will cost as much as $150 million. Ang said he will travel to Los Angeles next month to look at possible sites.

San Miguel brews its eponymous beer, possibly the most iconic of Philippine brands, for export to around 60 countries. It already has six overseas breweries in East Asia.

California is home to around 1.5 million Filipinos of some 3.5 million resident in the U.S.

San Miguel is considering expansion in the U.S. in the wake of President Donald Trump's protectionist push. He has threatened hefty taxes for companies that manufacture abroad for U.S. consumption.

San Miguel commands over 90% of the domestic beer market, and is investing $500 million in new domestic breweries in the Philippines to add to the six already producing. The company's net income rose 11.69% to 4.49 billion pesos ($90.22 million) in the first quarter after sales increased 8.98%.

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