SMC open to sale of Meralco stake

By: Doris C. Dumlao, May 9th, 2013 11:17 PM

Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. is open to selling its 36-percent stake in Manila Electric Co. at current market prices, company chief Ramon S. Ang said.

Ang told reporters that the conglomerate was “not looking” for buyers, but if he were to receive a good offer, he said he would consider selling the stake.

Ang said the current market price of Meralco—at P388.80 a share—was good enough.

But because it is a large block, Ang said, only a few entities are capable enough to take on the stake.

SMC’s stake in Meralco is worth about P157.4 billion, based on current prices and San Miguel’s market capitalization of P437.31 billion.

In the last few months, there has been talk among traders that SMC may sell its stake in Meralco to the group of Manuel V. Pangilinan, which has controlling interest in the utility.

Last Wednesday, Pangilinan said the group would consider buying the additional stake in Meralco.

“Meralco’s a great company. We’re not averse to [increasing our stake] in Meralco at the right price,” Pangilinan said.

SMC and its allies acquired the 36-percent stake in Meralco sometime in 2008 and 2009 for P90 a share payable over a three-year period. At that time, Meralco shares were trading at around P45 apiece.

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