Philippines group San Miguel Corp plans to invest $140 million (€144m) to build two glass plants in Australia, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review.
In a move which is aimed at boosting its Asia-Pacific operations, the food and beverage giant announced from its Manila headquarters a plan to construct two glass plants in Brisbane and Sydney through subsidiary San Miguel Packaging Products.
SMC, which currently accounts for 7 per cent of economic output in the Philippines and is best known for its popular range of bottled and canned beers, already has extensive investments in the Asia Pacific region, including major operations in Australia and Hong Kong.
In Australia the group currently owns the brewer J. Boag & Sons and has ties with Lion Nathan.
The two plants are initially aimed at providing bottling for both Lion Nathan and J. Boag, according to company sources in Manila. Australia is one of the group's strongest markets for packaging - particularly glass containers.
SMC has more than 60 manufacturing plants throughout the world, including its two glass plants in China and Vietnam, San Miguel Shunde Packaging and San Miguel Phu Tho Packaging.
"Now that we have strengthened our position in the domestic market we will continue to pursue our goal of becoming a major regional player," said chairman Eduardo Cojuangco.
"This project is in line with that thrust of strengthening our presence in the region," said Cojuangco, who has often been described by the Filipino media as being a crony of former presidents Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada.
After pursuing a series of acquisitions, including Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Pure Foods Corp and Cosmos Bottling Corp, SMC has more than $500 million up its sleeve to invest in the Asia-Pacific region, with south east Asia the most probable target. "We look set to make another acquisition within the year," said Ramon Ang, vice-chairman of SMC.
"It could contribute $1.5 billion in revenues a year to SMC."