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URC raising $378m to buy Snack Brands

Universal Robina Corp., a leading snacks and beverage manufacturing company in the Philippines, plans to raise A$500m (US$378m) in  five-year bullet loan for the acquisition of Snack Brands Australia.

URC senior vice president Bach Johann Sebastian confirmed in a text message the company tapped four banks to handle the transaction. No other details were provided.

URC said in August it would acquire 100 percent of Consolidated Snacks Pty. Ltd., the company behind Snack Brands and Australia’s second largest salty snacks player for A$600 million (P21.34 billion), in a bid to accelerate its Asia-Pacific expansion.

Consolidated Snacks is one of Australia’s leading snack manufacturers with a total market share of close to 30 percent and has a wide portfolio of chips including iconic brands Kettles, Thins, CC’s and Cheezels.

URC said with the acquisition, it planned to create a wider footprint in Oceania with SBA providing a solid anchor in the highly competitive Australian FMCG and retailing market. 

The deal is also synergistic with URC & Griffin’s, New Zealand’s number one snackfoods company which was acquired by URC in November 2014. 

URC also raised P4.38 billion from sale of treasury shares to partially finance the acquisition of Snackbrands Australia. URC sold a total of 22.659 million treasury shares by way of a special block sale priced at P193.45 per share.

SnackBrands Australia’s topline posted a compounded annual growth rate of 7.4 percent in the past four years.

It operates two manufacturing facilities in Sydney which are located in Smithfield and Blacktown.

Share price of URC closed lower by 2 percent Monday to P175.50.

Topics: Universal Robina Corp. , Snack Brands Australia
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