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San Miguel plans USD1b asset sale

San Miguel Corp. said it plans to raise USD1 billion from the sale of various assets, in an effort to fuel its diversification into the more-profitable infrastructure sector.

San Miguel, which is already the Philippines’ largest food-and-beverage conglomerate, has been seeking avenues for stronger growth and initially tried to expand its food and business interests in the Asia-Pacific region. But after that attempt was unsuccessful, the conglomerate decided in 2007 to sell the food and beverage companies it acquired abroad to fund its latest diversification into heavy industries.

The company last week confirmed a comment by San Miguel chairman Eduardo Cojuangco, reported in the local Business Mirror newspaper, that the group is open to selling stakes in San Miguel Brewery and Manila Electric Co. "At the right price, anybody can buy anything," Cojuangco was quoted as saying. "Now it’s a question of what is the right price."

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(Source: The Wall Street Journal Online)