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IP Converge turns to housing

New owners said to infuse up to P8B for dev’t

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IP Converge Data Center is set to engage in the affordable housing business as the group that bought the publicly listed shell company plans to infuse up to P8 billion worth of assets and conduct a follow-on equity offering next year.

IP Converge, which trades at the local stock exchange under the ticker “cloud,” will thus become the backdoor listing vehicle for the assets of 8990 Housing Development Corp., a horizontal housing developer with projects in the Visayas and Mindanao under the flagship brand “Deca Homes.”

In a briefing on Wednesday, 8990 Housing president Jesus Atencio said the group had mandated Maybank ATR Kim Eng Financial Corp. to study the company’s prospective follow-on offering, which may happen by June or July next year.

“We’re exploring all options to raise equity and boost production, given the overwhelming demand in mass housing,” Atencio said.

The group has already completed the acquisition of IP Converge but has yet to complete the infusion of assets, Atencio said.

The company has ongoing housing projects that will bring 22,446 units worth around P15.6 billion to the property market.

Also, it has converted its existing P5-billion landbank, equivalent to about 100 hectares, into nine new subdivisions and medium-rise condominium projects to be completed from 2013 to 2017. The future developments are expected to bring in additional 15,912 units with an estimated sales value of P14.6 billion.

8990 Housing has been in the real estate business for 22 years. It is into the affordable housing segment and the prices of its units range from P500,000 to P1.5 million.

Atencio said that the group is very upbeat on the sector as the country’s housing backlog of 3.8 million homes is expected to balloon to 4.65 million by 2016.

The property group’s gross revenue grew by 14 percent in the last five years, while net worth had expanded by 104 percent over the same period. Sales take-up last year amounted to about P4 billion.


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