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Monday, April 14, 2014

Century Tuna maker snags deal to distribute coconut water

 The maker of Century Tuna is venturing into the beverage business and the premium canned meat segment, as it explores possible acquisitions and partnerships ahead of the Asean economic integration.

In a briefing last week, Century Pacific Foods Inc president Christopher T. Po said a US company tapped the company to distribute coco water products. The definitive agreement however has yet to be signed.

Century Pacific is leveraging on its extensive distribution network and experience for its foray into the beverage business, Po said.

The Po family owns a privately held company that is supplying the coco water requirements of a "market leader in the US."

Century Pacific is repositioning the Swift brand for its entry into the premium canned meat segment to boost the market-leading share of its canned meat products. The Po family acquired the Swift brand from Concepcion-owned RFM Corp in late 2012.

“The brand has kind of slipped over the years but we saw the opportunity to leverage on our canned meat strengths to that of the brand to serve the needs of higher end of the segment," said Century Pacific chief operating officer Teodoro T. Po.

Canned meat contributed 24 percent to revenues but accounted for nearly half of earnings last year. The company is also in the business of dairy and mixes, canned and processed fish, and tuna export through its brands Century Tuna, 555 Sardines, Argentina Corned Beef, Swift, Angel and Birch Tree.

Century Pacific is scouting for acquisitions and is engaged in "very preliminary" discussion with rivals.

"We believe in what's happening in the Philippines. It's on a higher growth trajectory and opportunities will come up and we're sniffing around in our category and outside," the company’s president said.

Century Pacific is also keen on taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the Asean economic integration, as the company eyes potential acquisitions in the region.

Century Pacific is set to complete a second tin can manufacturing facility in the third quarter. The plant will produce approximately 25-30 percent of its requirements, bringing down costs by 15-20 percent.

Century Pacific is raising as much as P3.33 billion from an initial public offering to repay debt, fund working capital and potential acquisitions, expand production capacity and improve efficiency.

Source: Interaksyon

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