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Ayala Land buying Mitsubishi stake in Laguna hub

/ 05:03 AM February 05, 2019

Property giant Ayala Land Inc. is buying the 20-percent stake owned by Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corp. in industrial estate developer Laguna Technopark Inc. as part of a plan to consolidate its interest in Prime Orion Properties Inc. (POPI).

The 20-percent stake in Laguna Technopark will be exchanged for 323.887 million additional shares in POPI, equivalent to 6.6 percent of the latter’s outstanding shares.

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“This transaction will strengthen POPI’s vision to be the leading real estate logistics and industrial estate developer and operator in the Philippines,” the firm said in a disclosure, adding that the board of directors has cleared the purchase and subject to closing conditions.

Based on a list of top stockholders, Ayala Land currently has 54.9-percent interest in POPI. Apart from Mitsubishi, it has entered into a deal to buy other minority shareholders to consolidate its stake.

For its part, Mitsubishi is selling 8,051 shares in Laguna Technopark valued at P800 million. After the sale of this 20-percent stake, Mitsubishi will still be left with a 5-percent interest in the industrial estate developer.

Mitsubishi is a globally integrated business enterprise with interests in industrial finance, energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, living essentials, and environmental businesses. In recent years, it has been rationalizing its investments in the Philippines. It has also reduced its interest in Ayala Land’s parent conglomerate Ayala Corp.

A prime developer of industrial parks, Laguna Technopark owns and manages the 460-hectare industrial park which spans portions of the cities of Santa Rosa and Biñan in Laguna. It also holds and operates the 118-ha Cavite Technopark in Naic. These industrial parks have been the preferred locations of local and foreign manufacturing, processing logistics and distribution companies in the Philippines.

Earlier this year, parent company Ayala Land repositioned POPI from a niche retail center operator into its logistics and industrial estate arm with a P3-billion share-swap deal that infused Laguna Technopark into POPI.

By combining Laguna Technopark and POPI, the group created a bigger entity that will pursue real estate logistics and industrial development.

The stock market currently values POPI at P12.85 billion. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA/ac

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