Ayala Corp. investing $237.5M in Myanmar conglomerate Yoma Group
MANILA, Philippines — Ayala Corp. is taking a $237.5 million stake in the Pun family’s Yoma Group, marking the largest Philippine conglomerate investment in Myanmar.
Ayala said in a stock exchange filing on Thursday that the deal will give it 20 percent of the Myanmar conglomerate, which is comprised of two holding companies: Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd. (YSH) and Myanmar-listed First Myanmar Investment Public Co. Ltd. (FMI).
Ayala, which has a market value of $10.4 billion—about 10 times the size of the Yoma Gorup— will be the second-largest investor in both entities.
The Yoma Group has interests that span property, banking, automotive, healthcare, power, and tourism. Those align with Ayala’s own consumer, property and infrastructure businesses.
“We have always believed that ASEAN has massive potential to reap the benefits of Asia’s rise in the global economy. Ayala can definitely move closer to this aspiration by working with a respected and diversified conglomerate in the region,” Ayala chair and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said in a statement on Thursday.
Ayala said Myanmar, which transitioned to democratic rule less than a decade ago, is one of the fastest growing countries in the region and remains underpenetrated.
Myanmar’s economic profile also shares similarities to the Philippines in that both have young growing populations, robust consumer markets and support from workers overseas, Paolo Borromeo, Ayala group head for strategy and planning, said on Thursday.
“We are confident that by leveraging our own capabilities and experiences over the last 185 years, Ayala’s partnership with the Yoma Group could certainly help improve the lives of people in Myanmar through purposeful business,” Ayala president and chief operating officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala said in the statement.
Last month, Ayala’s power subsidiary AC Energy announced a partnership with YSH to help develop around 200 Megawatts of renewable energy in Myanmar. This will provide sustainable power to up to 70 percent of people living in rural areas.
“I am extremely pleased and honored to have Ayala become one of our most important strategic partners, a partnership that reflects their faith in the future of Myanmar, and validates the Yoma Group’s business model,” Serge Pun, executive chair of YSH and FMI, said in the same statement.
“Ayala is one of the foremost conglomerates in the Philippines; a family business that has endured generations of change, while maintaining a stellar track record in many sectors across the economy. We have much to learn, and they have much to teach us,” he added.
Ayala, which also has interests in telecommunications, water services and manufacturing, has established its presence in Indonesia, Vietnam, and China, as well as Australia, Europe, the US, and Mexico. /muf
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.