Ayala enters Thailand with stake in listed water firm
Manila Water Co. Inc. has signed a deal to acquire a minority stake in Eastern Water Resources Development and Management PCL, which is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
In a regulatory filing yesterday, the Ayala group unit said the acquisition of an 18.72-percent share in East Water marked its debut in Thailand as part of its expansion throughout Southeast Asia.
The shares will be bought from Electricity Generating PCL or EGCO Group, a partly state-owned independent power producer in Thailand.
East Water provides raw and tap water supply services in Thailand’s main industrial area, where various heavy industries including automotive, electronics and petrochemicals are located.
According to Manila Water, East Water’s operations in industrial estates are spread across an area about the size of Calabarzon, although it holds concession contracts to operate in 11 different locations.
“We recognize the opportunities this new market presents for us, and we are eager to share the technical expertise and service quality which Manila Water has developed over the last 20 years,” Manila Water chair Fernando Zobel de Ayala said in a statement.
Ferdinand dela Cruz, Manila Water president and chief executive, said East Water has a potential to further grow its business based on the Thai government’s efforts to further develop the country’s Eastern Economic Corridor into a leading economic zone in the region. —RONNEL W. DOMINGO
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