Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) is expanding its agriculture business by acquiring a 34.76 percent stake in listed coconut products exporter Axelum Resources Corporation for P5.32 billion.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Axelum said it has entered into a strategic partnership with the conglomerate through the investment by MPIC’s wholly-owned subsidiary Metro Pacific Agro Ventures Inc. (MPAV).
Axelum is the leading manufacturer and exporter globally of high-quality coconut products, and one of the major suppliers of Vita Coco, the global market leader in coconut water.
The company is also a major exporter of desiccated coconut, coconut milk/cream, coconut cooking oil, and other coconut products.
The acquisition comes in the heels of MPIC’s investment in the dairy business last year through the acquisition of a controlling interest in Carmen's Best Group of the Magsaysay family for P198 million.
“The north star of our agriculture business is helping our country achieve food security. This investment into ARC will mean more income opportunities for coconut farmers, as well as a broader landscape for Philippine agriculture,” said MPIC Chairman, President, and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan in a statemen.
Axelum Chairman and CEO Romeo I. Chan said that, “Through this partnership, we aim to achieve our life-long vision of further developing and transforming the Philippine coconut industry. We proudly welcome our new partners, MPAV and the entire MPIC organization, and we thank them for sharing the same values and ambition to advance the coconut industry by synergizing our resources and expertise.”
“More importantly, this puts us in a strong position to help uplift the marginalized coconut farming communities in our country and contribute to the continuous development of the agricultural sector,” he added.
Axelum said the new partners plan to pursue value-accretive opportunities both in local and international markets, and aims to harness the potential of the coconut industry anchored on best sustainable practices and nation-building.
With its global presence, ARC’s products are sold in both the domestic and international markets, supplying to food and beverage companies, confectioneries, bakeries, supermarkets and grocery store chains, and other establishments around the world.
They are widely distributed in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Japan, and some countries in Asia.
Augmenting Axelum’s focus on export, MPAV aims to nurture a higher level of patronage of these products by local consumers.
“The Philippines enjoys global renown for its coconut products. Axelum has had an impressive history—having helped establish the country as the world’s leading producer of high-quality coconut products.” said MPAV President and CEO Jovy Hernandez.
He noted that, “We at MPAV are eager to work with Axelum not only to strengthen their international business but also to develop the domestic market and support our local coconut farmers.”
MPIC, through MPAV, continues to look for other opportunities in the agricultural sector, while aiming to achieve a wider presence in the dairy industry.