Business tycoon Manny Pangilinan acquired a majority stake in homegrown premium ice cream brand Carmen’s Best Ice Cream.
Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Investment Corporation (MPIC) is acquiring a 51% controlling stake in Carmen’s Best. Aside from Carmen’s Best, MPIC is also acquiring Holly’s Milk, known for its premium yogurts and artisanal cheeses.
Carmen’s Best Group includes Carmen’s Best Dairy Products, Inc., Carmen’s Best International Dairy Company, Inc., Real Fresh Dairy Farms, Inc., and The Laguna Creamery, Inc. (TLCI). Under the strategic partnership, the group will consolidate under TLCI.
The MPIC will acquire 51% or 517,803 common shares for a total of P198 million, while Carmen’s Best Group retains 49% equity. According to Esquire’s report, Carmen’s Best’s transaction value is at P288 million.
The initiatives were made as MPIC plans to expand its conglomerate to focus on agriculture. In a statement made by MPIC CEO, Pangilinan explained that they plan to double their investments and efforts in reducing the country’s dependency on imports. The Philippines imports almost 99% of its dairy products from foreign countries. They want to focus on local dairy companies to help promote self-sufficiency, manage high inflation rates, and provide business growth opportunities.
“The agricultural sector presents a wide range of possibilities that can help us achieve several goals—to strengthen the food supply chain and augment the accessibility of resources for all Filipinos as well as provide more opportunities for growth in an otherwise underserved business,” Pangilinan stated.
“Ultimately, the country should aim for substantial independence in food. And we must feed our people first,” he added.
As Carmen’s Best will consolidate under the Laguna Creamery, it joins MPIC’s roster of subsidiaries, including PLDT and Smart, Meralco, Makati Medical Center, and Metro Pacific Tollways, among others.
Francisco “Paco” Magsaysay founded Carmen’s Best and named it after his daughter. Magsaysay is former Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr’s son and built the company when he started managing his father’s dairy farm in Bay, Laguna.
In a statement, Magsaysay said the partnership would help elevate Carmen’s Best beyond his expectation. He said, “Carmen’s Best has always had family at the heart of its brand—from the humble beginnings of my father and his friend’s dairy farming project to the touch of creativity I added to turn it into a modest ice cream business.”
“This union makes us appreciative that MPIC sees the value of what we already built while also elevating Carmen’s Best to a level beyond what we envisioned,” he added.