Ayala Land to acquire BHI’s key Cavite assets
ALI may also take on other coastal property, including Puerto AzulBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Property giant Ayala Land Inc. is set to expand its seaside land bank south of Metro Manila through a property deal with Boulevard Holdings Inc., owner of the Puerto Azul complex.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Friday, ALI said it had agreed to acquire certain land assets of BHI, subject to due diligence.
BHI said in a separate disclosure earlier in the day that its board had authorized the company’s chair and chief executive officer Jose Marcel Panlilio to sign the terms of reference with respect to an arrangement to “sell to a prospective buyer/investor, an operating unit and/or assets of BHI, wholly or in part.”
A final agreement with the new investor is set to be signed on or before May 10 this year.
Panlilio has been authorized to execute other separate agreements relating to “other areas of cooperation” as soon as definitive agreements are reached, the BHI disclosure said.
ALI’s subsequent disclosure revealed that it was the “investor” referred to by BHI but no other details were made available.
Asked how many hectares of property were involved, ALI executive vice president Bobby Dy said: “We have to go through due diligence to finalize the areas.”
BHI has long been scouting for a new investor to unlock values of its vast seaside land bank in Cavite. Biz Buzz reported last Monday that ALI was in talks with BHI over property, including part of the 3,000-hectare Puerto Azul complex in Cavite.
The upcoming deal with BHI is said to be a strategic step for Ayala Land, which is now pursuing an aggressive expansion thrust across the country. Its rival, the SM group, has already established its own beachfront leisure empire in the south with the 5,000-hectare Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu, Batangas.
The Ayala group is expected to undertake joint venture projects with other property firms, primarily those that have land bank in the south, “where growth is seen to be stronger in the coming years,” said Asiasec Equities chief strategist Manny Cruz. “The landbank of BHI is quite impressive considering that most of them are located in growth centers like Cavite and Batangas.”
During ALI’s stockholders meeting last week, top officials said the company was on the lookout for opportunities to put up new industrial zones as well as replicate the Anvaya leisure estate model in other areas.
BHI, the Panlilios’ corporate vehicle for tourism ventures, purchased in 2011 niche property developer Cala Paniman Inc., which owns the 21-hectare resort community Crestagrande along Paniman Bay in Cavite. The company had said Cala would be used as a vehicle for prospective joint ventures in the resort property sector.
Industry sources said Panlilio, who now lives in Spain, flew into town possibly to seal the property deal with ALI.
BHI shares on Friday surged by 15.48 percent to P0.179 as ALI officially confirmed the property deal with the company. ALI shares likewise went up by 0.65 percent to P31.20.
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