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Group questions Ongpin-Ashmore deal

SCREENGRAB from www.alphaland.com.ph

MANILA, Philippines–The Wenceslao group has questioned the inclusion of its stake in the Alphaland Bay City (ABC) project in a settlement deal between the property development group of businessman Roberto V. Ongpin and British fund Ashmore.

In a statement Thursday, the Wenceslao group said Alphaland could not transfer its shares in the joint venture to Ashmore unless it was allowed to exercise or waive its right of first refusal.

The Wenceslao group said it had formally asked Alphaland Development Inc. (ADI) to “honor its contractual obligations.”

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The group insisted that it had the right of first refusal under the shareholders agreement governing the joint venture between Wenceslao and ADI to develop the marina project located in Aseana City, a 32-hectare development right in the middle of the Pagcor Entertainment City and Mall of Asia. The group added it had a “tag-along” right, which would allow it to sell its holdings in the joint-venture company ABC on the same terms Alphaland is transferring its shares to Ashmore.

“We need to look at the terms first between Alphaland and Ashmore before we can decide whether to exercise or waive our right of first refusal, or invoke the tag along,” the Wenceslao statement read.

The Wenceslaos claimed that the joint venture was supposed to have 32 hectares of property, of which Alphaland had reportedly contributed 10 hectares. On the other hand, the Wenceslaos said they had contributed 22 hectares, including the critical property that had access to the sea, giving them majority a shareholding in ABC.

The local group issued the statement in response to a report that Alphaland had settled its squabble with British fund Ashmore by giving up some assets in exchange for the latter’s exit as shareholder in Alphaland.

Alphaland’s stake in the marina and joint-venture company was reportedly assigned to Ashmore, but the Wenceslao group was not asked first whether it would exercise or waive its right of first refusal, the group said.

It was earlier reported that Alphaland had struck a deal to carve out some of the company’s assets in favor of a newly incorporated company owned by Ashmore-led Alphaland Holdings (Singapore) Pte. (AH) and Masrickstar Corp. (MC), company led by Ongpin’s nephew Eric Recto.

In return, AH and MC will transfer all of their interest in Alphaland back to the company and pay Alphaland P2.5 billion in cash in two tranches.

The assets that the Recto-Ashmore partnership will acquire from Alphaland are:

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— 100 percent of Alphaland Makati Tower Inc., which owns The Alphaland Tower along Ayala Avenue in Makati;

— 100 percent of each of Alphaland Marina Club Inc. and Alphaland Marina Corp., which is developing a marina project at the Manila Bay reclamation area in Parañaque;

— 50 percent ownership of the Alphaland group in Alphaland Bay City, the joint venture with the Wenceslao group to develop the 32-hectare Alphaland Bay City project at the Aseana Business Park in Parañaque; and

— 60-percent interest owned by the company in the Boracay Gateway project, the unincorporated joint venture between the company and Akean Resorts Corp. to develop the latter’s 500-hectare property in Caticlan and Nabas, Aklan.

Alphaland will then remain majority-owned and controlled by Ongpin’s group and keep the following assets: Alphaland Southgate Tower and Mall, Makati Place (including The City Club), island-resort development Balesin Island Club and Baguio Mountain Lodge Homes.

 Originally posted at 6:10 pm | Thursday, June 26, 2014

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TAGS: Alphaland Bay City, alphaland corp., Alphaland Development Inc., ashmore, Business, Construction, property, Real Estate, Roberto V. Ongpin, settlement, Wenceslao group
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