Metro Pacific acquires 5 pct stake in Meralco for P13.2-B

Posted at 06/24/14 1:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) will acquire P13.24 billion worth of shares in Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) from Beacon Electric Asset Holdings Inc.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, MPIC said Beacon will sell 56.35 million shares or approximately 5 percent in Meralco to MPIC at a price of P235 per share.

Beacon is jointly owned by MPIC and PLDT Communications and Energy Ventures (PCEV).

MPIC will pay P3 billion to Beacon, with the balance to be paid on or before February 2015.

MPIC will also receive a dividend from Beacon when it settles payments such that MPIC’s net cash investment in the transaction will be P6.6 billion, which MPIC said it will fund from internal sources.

Upon completion, MPIC’s effective interest in Meralco will be 27.48 percent while PCEV’s interest in Meralco will be reduced to an effective interest of 22.48 percent.

The aggregate interest of MPIC and Beacon in Meralco will not be changed at 49.96 percent.

“The PLDT group regularly reviews its portfolio of businesses and we saw this as an opportunity for PLDT to realize an attractive return while maintaining its strong partnership with MPIC in a key investment. Meralco continues to be an important component of our strategic assets with a stable dividend yield and good prospects for growth,” said PCEV chair and PLDT chief executive Napoleon Nazareno.

MPIC also said it will invest P4.5 billion to increase its shareholding in the Don Muang Tollway (DMT) in Bangkok to 29.45 percent.

MPIC added that it is investing up to P8.5 billion in equity and shareholder loans in five years for its current 55 percent interest in the Light Rail Manila consortium, which was the sole bidder for the LRT-1 Cavite extension project.

“MPIC’s aggregate cash investment in Meralco, DMT and the LRT1 for these transactions will total some P19.6 billion albeit the LRT1 investment is spread over a number of years. Through a combination of our previously announced hospitals group dilution/sell down, cash in hand and borrowings we are able to fund these investments on our existing capital base,” said MPIC chief executive Jose Ma. K. Lim.