San Miguel Corp has been ordered by stock exchange officials to explain why a deal last week with Kirin Holdings was reported in the media before being announced to investors.

Investigators from the Philippines Stock Exchange (PSE) have given San Miguel 24 hours to explain the discrepancy, which concerns an agreement for Kirin to buy a 43% stake in San Miguel Brewery.

The PSE said in a letter, dated yesterday (23 February): "Based on records, the above-mentioned information was released to the media without prior or simultaneous disclosure to the Exchange. It was only when the Exchange requested for clarification of the said news article that the Corporation disclosed such information."

In a further letter, also sent to San Miguel Corp yesterday, PSE officials told the group to release more information on the Kirin deal, including terms of payment, valuation method and changes to the board of directors.

The PSE said that it would apply the "appropriate penalties" if the group does not comply.

Kirin said late last week that it would pay PHP59bn (US$1.2bn) for its 43% stake in San Miguel Brewery (SMB). The Japanese brewer will also launch a tender offer for additional shares, potentially raising its stake to 49%.

"This investment will significantly contribute to Kirin's further growth in its alcohol business in Asia and Oceania," Kirin said.

It added that it will also enter exclusive negotiations with San Miguel Corp and SMB with a view to SMB purchasing overseas beer operations from its parent group. The groups have six months to reach a deal.