Co secures possible backdoor listing vehicle for energy ventures

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Retail magnate Lucio Co has struck a deal to acquire 85 percent of holding firm Mariwasa Siam Holdings Inc. (MMI), seen as part of the businessman’s backdoor listing platform for his energy-related ventures.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Thursday, MMI said its majority shareholders have agreed to sell to Co’s Invescap Inc. the controlling block for P292.5 million. The sale is subject to the completion of a mandatory tender offer to be made by Invescap to the remaining stockholders of MMI.

MMI’s majority shareholders agreed to sell 956.203 million shares to Invescap at a price per share of 30.59 centavos. The valuation is much lower than MMI’s market pricing, making a tender offer unattractive to minority shareholders.

On Thursday, MMI closed at P6.89 a share (-9.2 percent), giving it a market capitalization of P8.55 billion.

In a separate disclosure, MMI said Invescap would conduct a tender offer to buy out other minority shareholders at 30.59 centavos from March 25 to April 24 this year.

Investors who sold their controlling stake to Co included Alfonso Anggala, Glenn Paul Garcia, Gilpatrick Garcia and Klarence Dy.

The disclosure did not specify the businesses to be infused into MMI. But stock pundits expect the businesses to be energy-related. Co’s privately held Union Enegry Corp. earlier announced a partnership with renewable energy developer Sta. Clara Power Corp. for an 8-megawatt mini-hydropower project in Oriental Mindoro costing about P1.9 billion. Union Energy is likewise undertaking a P1-billion investment in a 9.9-megawatt rice husk biomass power plant in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.

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