Conglomerate Ayala Corp. has obtained the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission to exempt a planned share offer from pre-emptive rights, or the need to offer the shares first to existing stockholders.
A filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange showed that the exemption would cover the potential issuance of up to 100 million common shares, which the firm outlined before without committing to any timeline.
Companies usually ask for this type of exemption to give them flexibility and speed when it comes to tapping the equity market.
Despite the recent pullback in share prices, Ayala is trading with a year-to-date gain of almost 24 percent, versus a 17 percent gain for the Philippine Stock Exchange index. It sold treasury shares in late May to raise about P3.3 billion.
Ayala shares gained 1.59 percent to P640 each on Wednesday’s close.
Ayala said in the disclosure that the share sale would be used to boost its cash, either to acquire “properties or assets” or to pay off existing debt.
The company, which is involved in water distribution, property development, telecommunications and recently, power generation, is looking to expand its presence in more infrastructure projects.
It said it plans to invest up to $1 billion in power and infrastructure over a five-year period.
For energy, the conglomerate has an agreement to acquire 20 percent in GN Power Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd, a 600-Megawatt coal facility in Bataan. It also has a 50-percent interest in South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp., which is building a 270-MW coal plant in Batangas. The second project is a joint venture with Trans Asia Oil and Development Corp.
The company also has investments in renewable energy projects: a 50-percent interest in a 33-MW wind facility in Ilocos Norte as well as several mini-hydroelectric projects.
For transport infrastructure, Ayala bagged the Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Connector road. It is likewise eyeing airport and railway projects, through partnerships with Aboitiz Equity Inc. and Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp., respectively.—Miguel R. Camus