DEL MONTE Pacific Ltd. has completed the sale of shares in its Philippine subsidiary Del Monte Philippines, Inc. (DMPI) to a Singapore-based investor for $120 million (about P6.07 billion).

In a disclosure to the local exchange yesterday, Del Monte said it has signed a deal with Singapore’s SEA Diner Holdings Pte. Ltd. together with its wholly-owned subsidiaries DMPI and Central American Resources, Inc. to sell 335.68 million shares in DMPI, equivalent to 12% of its paid-up ordinary shares.

This is lower than the supposed $130-million agreement that the parties signed in January to sell 363.65 million DMPI shares to SEA Diner.

“The completion of the DMPI sale marks the beginning of a partnership with (SEA Diner), a leading investment company focused on investing in leading companies in the consumer sector in China and the ASEAN region. This transaction is a testament to DMPI’s solid standing and future prospects for growth as a food company,” Del Monte said.

“The group looks forward to working with the Investor (as a new shareholder of DMPI) in expanding the group’s footprint in the Philippines and other export markets,” it added.

Del Monte said then that SEA Diner was planning to focus more heavily on investments in food products, noting it has already invested over $1 billion in consumer businesses across the ASEAN and China.

Del Monte is a manufacturer of canned fruits, juice drinks, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce and culinary mixes.

The company said net proceeds from the transaction is estimated at approximately S$149.4 million (about P5.34 billion). This will be used to pay outstanding loans of Del Monte owed mainly to Philippine banks.

“The company will make periodic announcements as to the use of the net cash proceeds as and when such proceeds are materially disbursed and whether such a use is in accordance with the stated use and in accordance with the percentage allocated,” it said.

Del Monte posted a 159% jump in net income to $6.67 million in the third quarter ending January. Its shares in the stock exchange picked up 14 centavos or 3.66% to P3.96 each on Thursday. — Denise A. Valdez