Philippines food and drinks group San Miguel has announced a plan to buy out shareholders holding up to 35% of the corporation’s voting stock, offering to swap common shares for preferred shares.

The exchange ratio will be one preferred share per common share – 30-50% premium over the common share’s valuation – San Miguel said in a notice to the Philippine stock exchange. Preferred shares will be entitled to various benefits, including dividends three times that received by common shares.

The move is designed to appease shareholders who are concerned about the company’s strategic shift away from food and beverages and into higher growth but riskier areas, including oil refining and electricity. The company has acquired a 27% stake in the electricity utility group Manila Electric and 50.1% in oil refiner Petron.

“We are doing this to address concerns from some shareholders about San Miguel’s diversification thrust,” Ramon Ang, San Miguel president and CEO, said.

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