On alliance with Ortigas, ALI takes measured steps
Ayala Land bides its time as terms are drawn upBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Property giant Ayala Land Inc. for the moment does not expect to join the boardroom of OCLP Holdings—parent company of urban property developer Ortigas & Co.—because the final terms of its alliance with the group of Ignacio Ortigas are still being drawn up.
Ayala Land president Antonino Aquino said in a text message that the ALI board’s approval of the deal served to formalize the company’s strategic alliance with the group of Ignacio Ortigas.
Aquino said that the ALI board had previously only authorized discussions leading to an alliance with the Ignacio Ortigas group.
“They will continue to be the ones who will sit on the board,” Aquino said of the present makeup of OCLP Holdings.
In a separate text message, ALI chief finance officer Jaime Ysmael said the disclosure was “just to report formal board ratification of the transaction which was approved by the executive committee. We are still threshing out the final terms of the agreement.”
ALI earlier earmarked a budget of P15 billion to invest in OCLP Holdings. It is not yet known how this partnership with Ignacio Ortigas will affect OCLP as another group in the family, led by former ambassador to Mexico Francisco “Paqui” Ortigas III, is allied with rival SM group.
Biz Buzz earlier reported that Francisco’s group recently nominated tycoon Henry Sy’s eldest son to the board of the Ortigas holding firm, giving the Sys a foothold in the board.
The Ortigas group has a land bank of 50 hectares located at Quezon City, Pasig, San Juan and Mandaluyong. Another 40 hectares of prime land can be added to its land bank, which include portions of Camp Crame (10 hectares) and Camp Aguinaldo (30 hectares), which were donated to the government years ago but which it has the right to buy back.
SM Investments negotiated to buy the OCLP stake held by HSBC and some family members ahead of ALI. But Ortigas family members decided to exercise their right of first refusal on HSBC’s 34-percent stake. The Ortigases consolidated their hold on the firm. But the family is still split, with some members siding with Ignacio, while others with Francisco.
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