San Miguel confirms plan to buy Extelcom shares

17 Mar 2009

San Miguel Corp yesterday confirmed it is in negotiations to acquire a stake in Filipino telecoms group Express Telecommunications Company (Extelcom), which is looking to re-enter the domestic mobile market. San Miguel Corp reportedly told the Philippine Stock Exchange: ‘We advise that San Miguel Corp is still in discussions in relation to the acquisition of Express Telecommunications Company and investment in Liberty Telecom Holdings [another small domestic telco]. No definitive agreement has been reached as regards the proposed acquisition and investment.’ The food and brewing conglomerate is seeking to diversify into the potentially lucrative telecoms sector but its efforts to secure control of Extelcom are not 100% assured. The Lopez Group, through Marifil Holdings, has challenged the current legal ownership of Extelcom – which is controlled by former creditor turned shareholder Trans Digital Excel Inc, the firm with which San Miguel is said to be in talks. Trans Digital holds its majority interest in Extelcom as a result of negotiations with Millicom International Cellular, one of the original shareholders in Extelcom.