San Miguel has reiterated its interest in Del Monte Pacific Ltd. The Philippine conglomerate issued a statement after the Philippine Star newspaper said today (3 February) that San Miguel had decided not to pursue a bid.

Earlier this year, San Miguel made a bid to buy a 40% stake in Del Monte owned by Italian sauce maker Cirio Finanziara S.P.A.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, San Miguel said: "San Miguel Corp.'s interest to purchase Del Monte Pacific Ltd. continues and its bid remains outstanding."

According to local press, San Miguel may face competition for Cirio's stake from Philippine tycoon Lucio Tan.

Cirio is bankrupt, after it defaulted on more than €1bn of bonds in late 2002 and is being liquidated after investors rejected a restructuring plan.