Melco eyes exit from PSE
City of Dreams Manila operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment is changing course with its plans to exit the roster of publicly listed companies, after minority shareholders complained about the value of the casino operator’s offer price for their shares.
In a stock exchange filing on Friday, Melco Resorts said it informed the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Oct. 19 that it would no longer pursue a voluntary delisting as it originally stated last month.
But it noted that the tender offer for 1.57 billion common shares, which represents the company’s entire public float of over 27 percent, would proceed on a date that has yet to be set.
Should Melco Resorts’ controlling shareholder MCO (Philippines) Investments Ltd. succeed in buying back enough shares to cause the public float to fall below the minimum 10 percent required by the PSE, it will open up Melco Resorts to involuntary delisting procedures.
Under the PSE’s rules, companies that are involuntarily delisted are barred from again becoming a public company for five years.
In its stock exchange filing on Friday, Melco Resorts said it was amending its main reason for holding a tender offer. Instead of seeking voluntary delisting, this will be revised to “increasing the bidder’s shareholding interest in the issuer.”
Because of the change, the original tender offer date starting on Oct. 22 this year will be moved to a later date.
Melco Resorts said on Sept. 10 that the tender offer price was set at P7.25 per share, or a total of P11.38 billion.
The company earlier defended the tender offer price, saying it was at a 14-percent premium over its three-month volume weighted average price.
Minority shareholders, on the other hand, said the tender offer price was too low and did not reflect the company’s true value.
Shares of Melco Resorts closed higher by 1.57 percent to P7.11 a share on Friday’s close. —MIGUEL R. CAMUS
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