May 15, 2014
• Agreement calls for the Philippine and Spanish brewers, leaders in their respective countries, to collaborate in promoting and extending San Miguel´s global footprint as an iconic global brand
• The San Miguel beer brand today has presence in 60 countries on all five continents, and is ranked among the 10 leading international premium beer brands.
San Miguel Brewing International Ltd., the international arm of San Miguel Brewery Inc., the largest brewer in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, and Mahou San Miguel, Spain's leading brewer, have signed a cooperation agreement to promote their international business and jointly position San Miguel as an iconic brand worldwide.
Through this alliance, the two brewers, linked by their shared history, define a framework for collaboration that will allow them to reach more consumers and markets with the San Miguel brand. The combined international sales of the two companies outside of the core and original Philippine market, today make San Miguel one of the top 10 global premium beer brands.
“MSM and SMB share a long and storied history. Leveraging on the strength and depth of our category as well as presence in our respective markets can do a lot for ramping up San Miguel as a global flagship Brand,” asserts Ramón S. Ang, SMC President and Chief Operating Officer and Chairman of SMB.
Pioneering, cosmopolitan and international brand
In 1953, San Miguel Philippines granted branding rights for Europe and Mediterranean Africa to San Miguel Spain, giving rise to a new Spanish brewing affiliate in 1957. Since then the two companies have, independently although also in parallel, developed a positioning for San Miguel as a pioneering and international brand.
"This alliance is much more than a business partnership," asserts Javier López del Hierro, Chairman of Mahou San Miguel. "It has been an emotional journey to the origins of San Miguel, and is a unique opportunity to release the brand´s enormous potential, promoting a common positioning across the globe. An initiative which will help transform our international business, for which the San Miguel Brand already represents 90% of our sales outside of Spain," he adds.
Thanks to this collaboration, the two companies will once again be joining forces to explore new markets with common interests, jointly promoting the brand with a range of options which will help extend the footprint of San Miguel around the globe, as a genuinely international beer which today is already enjoyed in 60 countries on all five continents.
A shared heritage
By signing this agreement, San Miguel Brewing International Ltd. and Mahou San Miguel are writing a new chapter in a story which began more than 120 years ago, when in 1890 the first San Miguel brewery was set up in Manila's San Miguel district. Coincidentally, that same year Mahou was founded in Madrid, as a family-owned company producing beer and ice.
By 1914 San Miguel was already being exported from its base in Manila to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guam. A pioneering brand with international aspirations from the outset, it has soon established itself as an icon among beer drinkers. International brewing operations began in 1948 with the set up of San Miguel Brewery Hong Kong Ltd., the company’s first offshore brewery.
Years later, on the other side of the world, two Spanish entrepreneurs contacted San Miguel with a view to fulfilling their ambition to produce beer in Spain. With this dream and a barrel filled with water from the River Segre, they set sail for the Philippines to convince San Miguel of the viability of their proposal.
In 1953, San Miguel Brewery, Inc. signed the “Manila Agreement”, paving the way for the creation of a new Spanish brewery, La Segarra, S.A., later renamed in 1957 as San Miguel Fabricas de Cerveza y Malta, S.A., an affiliate of San Miguel Brewery, Inc. which initially held 20% equity share via its Hong Kong subsidiary. San Miguel Brewery, Inc.likewise entered into a technical assistance agreement with the Spanish brewery for the set-up of the company’s first brewery in Lerida, Spain, and for product development. By the 1960s San Miguel S.A. had already begun to export within Europe. In 2000 San Miguel Spain was bought by Mahou, giving rise to the 100% Spanish Mahou San Miguel group, which today continues to extend the profile of the brand with great success not only in Spain but in key European markets like UK, Italy, Nordic countries and Germany.
Today, the two independent brewers from the Philippines and Spain will collaborate with the vision of unifying the brand and further strengthening its global footprint.