SMC changes tack with possible BellTel bid

22 Dec 2009

The Philippine Star reports that the Philippines’ San Miguel Corp (SMC) has reportedly set its sights on acquiring domestic operator Bell Telecommunications (BellTel), following legal problems surrounding its bid to acquire another telco, Express Telecommunications (Extelcom). SMC president Ramon Ang is on record as saying he is still interested in purchasing Extelcom despite legal difficulties surrounding the deal, but in the meantime, two of BellTel’s biggest publicly-listed shareholders – Liberty Flour Mills and South China Resources – have sold their stake in the telco to Two Cassandra-CCI Conglomerates, a shareholder of Liberty Telecoms Holdings which is partly owned by SMC. Not surprisingly the transaction has increased speculation that BellTel will eventually be sold to SMC, which is looking at ways to expand its presence in the local telecoms market.