Landbank offer to buy majority stake in PDS stays
State-run Land Bank of the Philippines has extended by one more month, or until Jan. 31 next year, its revised offer to buy out existing Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. (PDS) shareholders and gain control of the bond exchange.
In a text message, Landbank president Alex Buenaventura said the offer period was moved from end-December 2018 to Jan. 31 as there was “no response so far” from PDS shareholders.
In October, Landbank issued a new offer to buy PDS shares at P215 per share, down from the previous offer of P360 a share.
The reduced offer took into account the P600 million in dividends issued by PDS to shareholders in June, even as the share price remained a multiplier of 1.5 times adjusted net asset value or the same as the previous offer.
The dividend payout reduced PDS’s asset value, Buenaventura said.
He earlier expressed optimism that a majority, or at least 66.67 percent, of shareholders would give their acceptance letters to Landbank before year-end to seal the deal and sign share purchase agreements with them.
Under the previous offer, 43 percent of shareholders submitted acceptance letters, such that they expected the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), banks and investment houses to accept the new offer as well, Buenaventura said.
Buenaventura’s plan to acquire a majority stake in PDS runs counter to the planned merger of the latter with the PSE.
However, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who chairs Landbank, had complained that the PSE was not being compliant with the conditions set for its merger with PDS.
At present, Landbank owns 1.56 percent of PDS through the Bankers Association of the Philippines. —BEN O. DE VERA
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