Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (PSE: MPI), the country’s leading infrastructure investments company, announced today that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Carmen’s Best Dairy Products, Inc., Carmen’s Best International Dairy Company, Inc., Real Fresh Dairy Farms, Inc., and The Laguna Creamery, Inc. (collectively, the “Carmen’s Best Group”) to further develop and expand the operations of its dairy farm and dairy products manufacturing facilities.
Under the partnership, the Carmen’s Best Group will integrate its assets and operations into The Laguna Creamery, Inc. (“TLCI”), with MPIC owning a 51% equity interest in TLCI and the Carmen’s Best Group retaining a 49% equity interest.
The Carmen’s Best Group is behind the home-grown premium ice cream brand, Carmen’s Best Ice Cream, and the country’s only locally pasteurized and homogenized fresh milk, Holly’s Milk. It produces yogurt and artisanal cheeses under the Carmen’s Best Natural Cheese and Holly’s brands.
Earlier this year, MPIC announced that it is seeking to ramp up investments in the agricultural sector and reduce the country’s dependence on food imports amid ongoing global supply chain disruptions and high inflation. This transaction presents a significant growth opportunity for MPIC and the Philippines, as the country currently imports 99% of its annual dairy requirements.
“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. Ultimately, the country should aim for substantial independence in food. And we must feed our people first,” says MPIC Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Manuel V. Pangilinan.
MPIC and Carmen’s Best Group envision transforming TLCI into a fully integrated dairy business, serving local demand and eventually competing globally. “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,” said Francisco “Paco” Delgado Magsaysay. “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.”
The transaction values the Carmen’s Best Group at PHP288M and is conditional upon customary regulatory confirmation and approvals.
This venture in agribusiness affirms MPIC’s resolve to be the largest catalyst for a Sustainable Philippines to contribute to national progress and help improve lives of Filipinos. It is also aligned with the Company’s efforts to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), particularly Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.