BIZ BUZZ: Deal breaker or deal changer? | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Deal breaker or deal changer?

/ 02:10 AM March 20, 2023

Remember those rumors last January that Japanese conglomerate Mitsui is close to sealing a deal to acquire a 20-percent stake in local holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp.?

If you’ve been wondering why little else has been heard about it since President Marcos’ official visit to Tokyo in early February, it might be because the mega deal has encountered some “issues.” Some people say they’re potential “deal breakers” while others say they’re “deal changers.”


Biz Buzz heard that the supposed deal may not happen according to the original plan of Japan’s second largest trading house, which was to help Metro Pacific go private.

Remember that this deal was based on the premise that the shareholders of Metro Pacific were not getting the full value of the conglomerate because shares of holding firms usually trade at a discount to what they should really be worth.


So it would make sense for its owners to buy back all the shares from the investing public at the discounted price, which it is trading at on the stock exchange.

Taking a large holding firm private takes a lot of cash, which Metro Pacific might not exactly have right now, hence the potential entry of cash-rich Mitsui into the picture.

But there are some issues for Mitsui, we hear, including speculation that Anthoni Salim-controlled First Pacific wants to play a more active role in running Metro Pacific, and word that another Japanese investor is also interested in the deal.

For now, Mitsui is still in the game, but there’s a good chance Metro Pacific will no longer go private as originally planned, but will just take on an external investor through a more normal route.

So will this deal somehow miraculously survive all these obstacles? Abangan!

— Daxim L. Lucas

A piece of Texas tech for Filipinos

DFNN chair Ramon Garcia Jr. got to know Texas and its hip tech scene when his eldest daughter, Ella, was accepted at the highly ranked business program of the University of Texas in Austin, where she stayed for close to five years.

Ella has since graduated, but the Garcia family has not left and has even set down roots there, and joined the Central Texas Angel Investors Network. They were attracted by the vibrant economy, the dynamism of the startup scene and the quality of life that made Texas’ capital one of the United States’ best cities to live in and a new technology mecca, highlighted by multi-billion dollar investments by companies like Tesla, SpaceX, Google, Amazon and Samsung.


The younger Garcia, who now works in Google Singapore, backed by her father, is offering deep-pocketed Filipinos and Americans a chance to also enjoy the Texas lifestyle and innovative tech environment through a technology integrated real estate development in the city of Burnett, less than an hour’s drive from downtown Austin.

Developed in joint venture with local American property partners, Eagle’s Nest offers 13 customized homes and lots with sizes varying from 4,100 to 9,000 square meters. Costing an average of $1.2 million or about P60 million each, these have the potential to bring more value for money to investors than comparable lots in some of the Philippines’ top gated communities.

The DFNN chair tells Biz Buzz that most of the lots have already been bought. Only three are left available to those who want to live and work in a “smart” community powered by technologies developed by the listed DFNN Group with all services connected via Elon Musk’s Starlink, the satellite service that he helped bring to the Philippines.

— Tina Arceo-Dumlao
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