SM group still hopeful of deal with Ortigas

Posted at 07/12/2012 6:35 PM | Updated as of 07/12/2012 6:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The fight over Ortigas is not yet over. The SM group is still hopeful of a deal to acquire a controlling stake in the property holding firm of the Ortigas family, even though rival Ayala Land Inc. has made an offer.

"Our offer still stays. We're still awaiting some of the formal decisions. We haven't seen anything formal yet," SM Prime Holdings Inc. president Hans Sy said on Thursday.

The SM group has offered to buy British bank HSBC's 34% stake in Ortigas & Co. Limited Partnership Holdings, Inc. (OCLP Holdings) for a reported P11 billion.

However, Ortigas family members opted to exercise its right of first refusal, effectively foiling SM's offer, and bought the stake held by HSBC. Led by Ignacio Ortigas, a group within the family soon entered into a "strategic alliance" with Ayala Land.

There are reports the Ortigas group has not yet decided on whether to go with the offer of the SM group or Ayala Land.

Sy said SM would want to get a controlling stake for OCLP. But this would depend on whether the 34% stake would be offered to SM or Ayala Land.

"Ayala may have gotten a reply but we haven't," he said.

The Ortigas group has vast properties in Mandaluyong, San Juan and Quezon City. It owns the 16-hectare Greenhills shopping center, where V-Mall houses 5 SM franchises namely Toy Kingdom chain, SM Appliance Center, Our Home, Watsons, and Ace Hardware.