The conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), through its wholly owned subsidiary Metro Pacific Agro Ventures Inc. (MPAV), has partnered with Israel’s LR Group to expand MPAV’s existing dairy business.
“Our investment in agriculture represents food security and broad independence, but ultimately becomes a means to alleviate hunger in our country – a pressing issue that we have taken on as a challenge,” MPIC Chairman, President and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said. “Our goal is and always will be to feed our people first.”
This partnership will lay the groundwork for the construction of a farming facility in Bay, Laguna, which is expected to produce at least 6 million liters of milk annually. Construction of the facility will begin in 2023 and will take about two years. Operations are expected to start in late 2025 or early 2026.
“We share the same values with MPIC and MPAV in terms of maximizing what their country has to offer, primarily in terms of land, natural resources and skills, and in turn helping their local communities to thrive,” said Ami Lustig, co-founder and CEO of LR Group.
The conglomerate noted that the transaction represents a “significant growth opportunity for MPIC and the Philippines” as the country currently imports 99 percent of its annual milk requirements.
MPIC began its foray into the dairy industry by partnering with Carmen’s Best Group to develop and expand operations of its dairy farms and dairy manufacturing facilities. It entered into an agreement to acquire a 51 percent interest in The Laguna Creamery Inc.
The conglomerate said it would increase investment in the agricultural sector and reduce the country’s reliance on food imports amid ongoing disruptions in global supply chains and high inflation.
Founded in 1985, the LR Group operates globally in the financing, management, development, production and maintenance of medium and large national projects in high-growth economies around the world. The company and its subsidiaries have implemented hundreds of sustainable projects in Africa, Europe, Oceania and South America.
With the support of the Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss, LR Group was instrumental in the deal between MPIC and Carmen’s Best and acted as technical advisor during the transaction.