San Miguel Corp. president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said Wednesday he now prefers the full acquisition of a company, instead of forging joint venture partnerships, after being “cheated” by partners in the past.
Ang expressed the sentiment in a panel session during the Forbes Global CEO Conference at Solaire Resort & Casino in Parañaque City, when asked about his most painful business experience in running the business.
“After experiencing all those type of partnerships, I would rather always buy everything of a company and avoid partnering, unless they are honorable partners which are very hard to come by,” Ang said.
He said San Miguel sold some companies in the past, not because they were bad assets but because “sometimes partnerships are not so good.”
“The intent of investing in a business is long term. But sometimes, you run into partners that you don’t get along later and don’t honor agreement, so instead of suing each other, I’d rather just walk out,” Ang said.
Ang settled a dispute with GMA Network Inc. chairman Felipe Gozon in August, over P1 billion deposit on a failed buy-in. Ang, however, was supposed to invest in GMA Network as a personal investment.
San Miguel also agreed to sell its stake in Philippine Airlines last year back to tycoon Lucio Tan.
Ang clarified that San Miguel had good partnerships with foreign and local investors including Japan’s Kirin and Yamamura and Hormel of the US.
“Not all partners are bad. We have experienced good partners also,” Ang said.
San Miguel, which started as a beer company 125 years ago, has diversified into various growth industries including infrastructure, power generation, mining, oil manufacturing, real estate, banking and telecommunications.
Ang said in 2008, San Miguel decided to diversify into new growth sectors after its beer business already corned 95 percent of the local market.
“At that time we have no where to go because our beer business at that time had about 95 percent market share so what else can you do? Whatever amount you do for promotion, you won’t get much so we thought of diversifying to other businesses,” Ang said.
Ang received applause from attendees of the Forbes Global CEO Conference when he shared his dream for the Philippines. “Our dream is to build our nation, to provide better consumer products, better environment and better place for our countrymen,” Ang said.
Ang also said the conglomerate would also build a new mobile broadband.
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