Corporate News

Uytengsu director resigns from Alaska Milk’s board

Posted on March 13, 2012

TWO DIRECTORS of listed Alaska Milk Corp. have resigned after leading Dutch dairy firm Royal FrieslandCampina N.V. purchased a controlling stake last week, a disclosure to the local bourse yesterday showed.

Following a special meeting late Friday, the company’s board accepted the resignations of Michael Randall B. Uytengsu, and Ramon S. Esguerra and effective on the same date, the disclosure read.

Wilfredo Steven Uytengsu, Jr., brother of Michael Randall will stay on as president and chief executive of Alaska Milk in the meantime.

It is not certain if there will be further board movements as a result of the FrieslandCampina acquisition, Santiago A. Polido, Alaska Milk compliance officer, said.

“I cannot speculate,” Mr. Polido told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview yesterday.

Last week, FrieslandCampina announced that is has moved to buy 535.7 million shares held by the Uytengsu family, founders and controlling shareholders of Alaska Milk, at a price of up to P24.00 apiece, subject to pre-closing adjustments.

The deal raised the Dutch firm’s stake in Alaska Milk to 68.9%, up from 8.1%. A tender offer for the remaining Alaska Milk shares will be conducted in accordance with local regulatory requirements.

FrieslandCampina executives Kapil Garg, Kees Gielen and Peter van der Hoek were then elected to replace Messrs. Esguerra and Uytengsu and also fill the vacancy left by former chairman Wilfredo Uytengsu, Sr. who died in 2010, the disclosure added.

Mr. Garg is currently FrieslandCampina’s chief operating officer, while Mr. Gielen is chief finance officer, according to FrieslandCampina’s 2010 annual report.

Mr. van der Hoek, meanwhile, is FrieslandCampina’s corporate finance director.

Moving forward, FrieslandCampina’s purchase of a majority stake in Alaska Milk is expected to add 100 million new customers to the former’s base, grow its revenues to 2.7 billion euros from €2.5 billion last year, and also expand its consumer footprint in the region according to earlier reports.

Alaska Milk, which is known for its evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk products, was incorporated in 1994.

In 2007, Alaska Milk acquired the Alpine, Liberty and Krem-Top milk brands-including all trademark properties-from food giant Nestlé.

The company incurred a 39% drop in its 2011 net income to P1.10 billion from P1.82 billion in 2010 as the higher cost of production inputs shrunk the company’s net sales for the year.

Net sales dip by 3% to P11.80 billion from P12.16 billion two years ago, while sales costs grew 12% to P8.47 billion from P7.59 billion in 2010.

Alaska Milk shares surged 16.50% to P23.30 yesterday from P20.00 at its previous close. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente