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Megawide cofounder bowing out to focus on family venture

/ 05:07 AM December 11, 2017

Megawide founders Edgar Saavedra and Michael Cosiquien

One of the country’s youngest tycoons, Megawide Construction Corp. cofounder Michael Cosiquien, is seen bowing out of this construction group to focus on family-owned cold storage business over a two-year “transition” period.

The transition started last August when Megawide cofounder Edgar Saavedra consolidated his interest in the company by acquiring an additional 14.67 percent stake for about P5.68 billion. This jacked up Saavedra’s stake to around 41 percent while Cosiquen’s interest was trimmed to 25 percent, Saavedra estimated.

Since then, Saavedra has been bombarded with queries from analysts and investors on whether there would be “follow-through” transactions to buy out the remaining shares of Cosiquien.

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In a recent interview, Saavedra said there could be potential “follow-through” transactions.

“He will focus on the cold storage business. He wants to do his own business, cold storage, which we didn’t want to put into Megawide,” Saavedra said, adding that Megawide wanted to focus on its core expertise—construction and infrastructure building.

He said the “transition” phase in Megawide would likely take two years. It’s seen to be an amicable transition phase as Cosiquien devotes more management time to his family’s cold storage business.

The transition is seen to result in an amicable restructuring of Megawide’s shareholder base that will result in Saavedra taking up other shares that Cosiquien will give up.

Saavedra said he would be “happy with 51 percent” ownership of Megawide in the future.

Industry sources said the rest of the shares that Cosiquien might sell could be offered to new investors, widening Megawide’s public ownership and trading liquidity.

During the construction firm’s organization meeting last September, Cosiquien stepped down as chair but remained as director. Saavedra is now chair concurrent to his post as president and chief executive officer of Megawide.

Saavedra earlier incorporated a new company to hold his shares in Megawide. Previously, the two founders’ shares were all lodged in Citicore Holdings Investment Inc. (CHII) that used to own 66.67 percent of Megawide. CHII now owns 51 percent of the construction firm.

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The two engineers founded Megawide in 1997 after graduating from De La Salle University. Megawide has since grown to become among the country’s leading contractors and infrastructure developers now valued by the stock market at P36.35 billion.

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