■FOOD AND BEVERAGE
San Miguel eyes Dole
Beer-based San Miguel Corp said yesterday it is interested in acquiring the Philippine and regional operations of US multinational Dole Food Co, the world’s largest fruit and vegetable producer. “We confirm that the Company is interested in Dole Food Co and its other units in the Asia-Pacific Region,” San Miguel said in a statement to the Philippine Stock Exchange. San Miguel, southeast Asia’s largest food and beverage outfit, did not say if there are ongoing negotiations or whether any are planned in the short term. The company is also aggressively expanding into heavy industries. Dole’s Philippines unit grows pineapple and bananas in the southern region of Mindanao.
Merger proposal dismissed
The incoming chairman of mining group Anglo American Plc, John Parker, dismissed a “merger of equals” proposal from rival Xstrata as a distraction. “The board have obviously evaluated this proposition very carefully ... but there’s a clear value gap. And frankly, as far as I’m concerned, this is a great distraction for management,” he said in an interview on the company’s Web site. “I want to see them focused on wringing out the value that’s inherent in this business and I’m very confident that they have plans to do so.” Anglo-Swiss Xstrata said on June 21 that it wanted to launch talks with Anglo about a “nil premium” merger, but Anglo rejected it the following day a “totally unacceptable.”
Asian PC sales post growth
Personal computer sales in Asia ended two consecutive quarters of contraction to post robust growth in the second quarter of this year, said a report released yesterday. Information technology analysts IDC said 19.9 million PC units were sold in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan from April to last month, an increase of 19 percent over the first quarter. Year-on-year growth was eight percent, well above forecasts, and it was the first time the numbers were positive after six months of decline, IDC added. Bryan Ma, IDC’s director of Asia-Pacific personal systems research, said portable PCs will be a major growth driver in the coming months. “Ongoing consumer interest in portable PCs will continue to be the key moving forward, especially as both low-cost mini-notebooks and new ultra-thin notebooks help to drive the market into next year,” he said.
Samsung going green
Samsung Electronics Co, Asia’s biggest maker of chips, flat-screens and mobile phones, plans to invest 5.4 trillion won (US$4.3 billion) by 2013 to help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Samsung will spend 3.1 trillion won to research and develop eco-friendly products and 2.3 trillion won on energy-saving technologies, the company said in a statement yesterday.
Virgin Blue hunts investor
Australian airline Virgin Blue is looking for a Middle East airline to become its cornerstone investor, the Australian newspaper reported yesterday. Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd, which owns Australia’s No. 2 airline, wants additional cash to cope with an industry downturn and increased competition. Virgin Blue in recent years has faced stiff competition from Jetstar, Qantas’ budget offshoot. The paper said Virgin Blue may have held talks with new code-share partner, Dubai-based Emirates.