SMFB's P15-B retail bond offering plan OK'd

SMFB's P15-B retail bond offering plan OK'd

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved a plan of consumer giant San Miguel Food and Beverage (SMFB) to raise as much as P15 billion from a new retail bond offering.

This subsidiary of conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) intends to offer the fixed-rate bonds in two series—one with five-year tenor and another with seven-year tenor—at face value.

The bonds will be issued in minimum denominations of P50,000 each, and in integral multiples of P10,000 thereafter. They will be listed and traded in denominations of P10,000 on local fixed income platform Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp.

Net proceeds from the offer will be used to fund the redemption of the outstanding 15 million perpetual preferred shares in March 2020 at P1,000 per share.

BDO Capital & Investment Corp., BPI Capital Corp., China Bank Capital Corp., Philippine Commercial Capital Inc., PNB Capital and Investment Corp., RCBC Capital Corp. and SB Capital Investment Corp. have agreed to act as joint lead underwriters and bookrunners for the offer.

Local credit watchdog Philippine Rating Services Corp. (Philratings) has assigned a credit rating of “PRS Aaa” with a “stable outlook” to the upcoming offering. This is the highest rating in Philratings’ scale.

Obligations rated “PRS Aaa” are deemed to be of the “highest quality with minimal credit risk.” The borrower’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is deemed “extremely strong.”

A “stable outlook” is assigned when a rating is likely to be maintained or to remain unchanged in the next 12 months.

PhilRatings cited the following major rating factors in assigning the rating and the stable outlook: Strong brand equity and leading market position of SMFB’s core businesses; synergies as part of the San Miguel Group and as a result of the consolidation of the food and beverage business under SMFB, coupled with the company’s highly-experienced management team; continued positive outlook for the economy which is expected to benefit the food and beverage industry; the company’s conservative financial position considering the capital intensive nature of its businesses; and strong profitability performance and healthy cash flow generation.

In 2018, SMC underwent an internal restructuring to consolidate its food and beverage business under SMFB, which now includes beverage units San Miguel Brewery Inc. and Ginebra San Miguel Inc. on top of food manufacturing arm San Miguel Purefoods Co.

“The size and scale of the broader San Miguel Group likewise provide the company with significant leverage and bargaining power with suppliers. Furthermore, the consolidation of SMC’s food and beverage business under SMFB resulted in economies of scale in infrastructure and unlocked greater shareholder value by creating a sizeable consumer vertical market under one company,” Philratings said.

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