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Oil prices extend losses in Asia on higher stocks.

Roxas Pacific Bioenergy Corporation (RPBC), a subsidiary of sugar group Roxas Holdings, Inc., has invested R420 million to acquire 26.7 percent of the country's second largest ethanol company, San Carlos Bioenergy, Inc.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Roxas Holdings said RPBC acquired the San Carlos Bioenergy shares from the Zabaleta Group.

"We are excited to work with SCBI's majority stockholder, Jimenez Group, and we look forward to contributing more to the industry," said RHI chairman Pedro E. Roxas.

RHI President Renato C. Valencia added that "this move will allow synergies and optimization of production capacities to achieve higher efficiencies."

In 2014, SCBI produced almost 29 million liters of bioethanol, second to RHI's Roxol Bioenergy Corporation with 35.6 million liters.

Both SCBI and RBC are strategically located in Negros Occidental where 60 percent of the country's sugar is produced. Bioethanol is produced using molasses or sugar juice.

Currently RHI's ethanol business contributes 15 to 20 percent of total revenues. Valencia said relying on raw sugar alone will not be enough to tide the company in the environment of low sugar prices.

"To be sure for the business to survive, it cannot anymore live alone on sugar (because) margins are narrow, prices are going down. And if your protection is taken out, its' a very difficult business to make money in," said Valencia.


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Title Annotation:Business News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Mar 18, 2015
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