The exclusive manufacturer and distributor of RC Cola in the Philippines will put up plants in Myanmar and Thailand and construction may start this year, as it seeks to expand its presence in Southeast Asia.
“We have Thailand and Myanmar … we are planning (to start construction) this year,” Asiawide Refreshments Corp (ARC) chairman Alfredo M Yao told reporters on the sidelines of the annual reception for the banking community hosted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, according to the Philippines Star.
Each manufacturing plants has a capacity of 25 million cases per year, Yao said. He said international operations would be boosted by the new plants while production hubs in neighbouring countries are also on the drawing board.
Asiawide Refreshments is also under negotiations to acquire the licensed bottler of RC Cola in Thailand.
The expansion is in line with plans of the RC Cola bottler to be competitive by the time the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community (AEC) starts in 2015.
The AEC would facilitate free flow of goods, services, labour, investments as well as capital in the regional economic bloc, much like the efforts implemented by the Eurozone.
Locally, Asiawide Refreshments, through Mega Asia Bottling Corp., has an annual capacity of 100 million cases. RC Cola is franchised by the Yao family from Royal Crown Cola International.
Asiawide Refreshments is also looking at starting operations in other ASEAN countries, Yao said.
The group of Filipino businessman Yao has infused its 99.99 percent stake in ARC into the shell company of Maybank ATR Kim Eng Financial Corp, an initial step toward its backdoor listing.