San Miguel Corp. has received shareholder approval to spin off its domestic beer unit.

In a statement released yesterday (25 July), the company said that stockholders representing at least two thirds of the outstanding capital of the company, approved the transfer of all the company's domestic beer assets, excluding land and brands, to a wholly-owned subsidiary in exchange for shares of the subsidiary for their eventual listing and public offering. 

Speaking before the vote, San Miguel Corporation chairman and CEO Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. yesterday expressed confidence that the company's planned ventures into "new engines of growth" will deliver optimum value for shareholders who will reap the benefits of higher earnings potential for San Miguel.

"We want to be in industries that have scale and will grow and we are determined to build leadership positions in key areas where important trends are driving future growth, not just for San Miguel but for the Philippines too," Cojuangco told stockholders during its annual stockholders meeting held at the Valle Verde Country Club.

Earlier, San Miguel had short-listed new industries it intends to venture into. These include mining, power, infrastructure, water, other utilities and property.

Shareholders also agreed to the issuance of PHP1.5bn non-voting preferred shares in order to accrue funds for the expansion beyond the food and drinks markets.

According to reports, San Miguel CFO Ferdinand Constantino said that the company will retain the majority of the domestic beer business following its initial public offering.

This week, the company issued details of its latest share dividend payment.and that shareholders on record 17 August will be entitled to PHP0.35 per share. The PHP1.12bn (US$25bn) cash dividend will be paid on 10 September.