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imns



Sy gets on RP power superhighway operations


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:07:00 03/17/2010

Filed Under: Electricity Production & Distribution, Economy and Business and Finance

ONETAIPAN HOLDINGS OF HENRY SY JR. ACQUIRED the stake of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp. in National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) for $590 million.

Calaca High Power Corp. of the Coyiuto Group, and the Chinese Group?s State Grid Industry Development Limited retained their respective stakes in NGCP?operator of the country?s electricity superhighway.

In a statement, OneTaipan Holdings of Henry Sy Jr., said it acquired 30 percent of NGCP from Monte Oro Grid, a unit of the Ricky Razon group.

According to Sy?s official statement, the value of the acquisition was $350 million. But other highly placed sources said this could only be the net value of the transaction.

One suggested that the gross value, which reportedly included a debt component, was pegged at $590 million.

Sources said that Calaca High Power, which used to keep a low profile with regards to the operations of the NGCP, would now have to assume a greater responsibility of raising money for the maintenance of the country?s transmission grid.

There also had been reports that Calaca High Power and Monte Oro had been at odds since they took over operations of NGCP last year.

The sources said the sale of Monte Oro, led by its president Walter Brown, would lead to a major change in NGCP?s corporate ownership. It was not however known if the changes in the stockholders? composition within NGCP would warrant a review of the company?s franchise.

Prior to the equity sale, the NGCP consortium is composed of a foreign partner, the State Grid Industry Development Ltd. with 40-percent stake, Monte Oro Grid with 30 percent, and Calaca High Power with another 30 percent.

This consortium took over management and operation of the power transmission system from the National Transmission Corp. last January 2009.

The concession contract, which amounted to $3.95 billion, is good for 25 years and may be renewed for another 25 years.

NGCP paid $987.5 million (25 percent of the total amount) during the turnover. The remaining amount would be paid in semi-annual installments for 20 years.

Meanwhile, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., which undertook the privatization of Transco, said it would look into the transaction as to whether it is consistent with the provisions of the concession agreement.

PSALM vice president Conrad Tolentino said there are provisions in the concession agreement which would ensure accountability of stockholders to comply with the standards set in the contract.

?We always presume that the agreement within the company was done in good faith, and we are not assuming that there would be violations. But it would be prudent for PSALM to check on the compliance with the concession agreement,? he said.

In a briefing with reporters, San Miguel Corp. president Ramon S. Ang said he was not involved in the buyout in any way. Ang wanted to dispel rumors that he was on top of the deal.

?SMC did not spend even one peso to join that transaction. If we spent even one peso, we would have to disclose that,? Ang stressed. With a report from Reuters



Copyright 2014 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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