Holcim PH to be delisted from stock exchange
Holcim Philippines, one of the country’s biggest cement producers, could soon join other large companies that are giving up public listing status after one of its major shareholders on Thursday proposed to delist the firm from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).
Holderfin B.V. is planning to buy out the minority stockholders of Holcim Philippines that own the remaining 5.05 percent after it struck a deal to buy the shares of Japanese minority shareholder Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co., the company said in a stock exchange filing on Thursday.
Holcim Philippines, which operates four cement factories with a total annual production capacity of 10 million metric tons, was placed under a voluntary trading suspension by the PSE on Thursday after its public float ownership level fell below the minimum 10 percent.
Holderfin is a related party to Holcim Philippines’ ultimate parent firm, cement giant Lafarge Holcim of Switzerland.
The minority tender offer will allow the controlling shareholders’ group to consolidate full control of the company before launching voluntary delisting proceedings under the rules of the exchange.
Once completed, Holcim Philippines will continue normal business operations but it will do so as a privately-held company.
The move is blow to the PSE, which is witnessing a recent exodus of large companies amid challenging business conditions caused by elevated inflation and weakened demand during the postpandemic period.
Another cement firm, Eagle Cement of billionaire Ramon Ang, delisted last December while Sy-led logistics firm 2GO Group is going private on July 17.
Tycoon Manuel Pangilinan-led infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is also seeking to delist and is finalizing a tender offer to minority stockholders.
COL Financial Group chief equity strategist April Lynn Tan said firms are considering going private as prospects of an economic slowdown weigh on stock market valuations.
“Their valuations are cheap so they really can’t [sell shares in the market] to raise cash,” she told the Inquirer. “So they’re thinking, if that’s the case, maybe they should just delist because there’s no longer an advantage to staying listed.”
Jesley Tan Uy, a trader at HDI Securities, told the Inquirer such delistings could also be disadvantageous to minority stockholders, which often have no say in the final outcome.
Uy said the Securities and Exchange Commission should also regulate cross shareholdings to level the playing field for minority stockholders.