Metro Pacific privatization OKd; P55-B tender offer starts August 9
MANILA -A group of tycoons and Japanese industrial giant Mitsui will launch Wednesday, Aug. 9 a P55-billion buyout offer to minority stockholders of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. with the aim of delisting the infrastructure giant from the Philippine Stock Exchange by early October this year.
Shareholders of Metro Pacific- which owns top electricity distributor Manila Electric Co., water utilities, hospitals and toll roads- ratified the privatization plan during a special stockholders’ meeting on Tuesday.
The bidding consortium is composed of Indonesian billionaire Anthoni Salim’s First Pacific Group, the Ty family conglomerate GT Capital Holdings, Mitsui and a private company owned by Manuel V. Pangilinan, chair and CEO of Metro Pacific.
The parties will move forward with the P5.20 per share tender offer—which was priced at 37 percent above the company’s average price the past year. The offer was also raised by 12 percent from the initial price set last April after large funds and minority shareholders opposed the original valuation.
Metro Pacific shares on Tuesday rose 1.43 percent to P4.97 each. Bloomberry Resorts, the casino and hotel operator of billionaire Enrique Razon Jr., jumped 5.5 percent on bets it would replace Metro Pacific in the 30-member PSE Index.
“We are pleased with the result from the [Metro Pacific] shareholder meeting which allows the tender offer to begin,” Christopher H. Young, executive director at First Pacific, said in a statement after the meeting.
The tender offer will be formally rolled out on Aug. 9 and will run through Sept. 7, according to the proposed timetable that was shared during the meeting. The target date of delisting is Oct. 9, 2023.
Young said they were confident the proposed privatization of Metro Pacific will succeed due to the “favorable feedback from the market, with institutional investors and stock brokerages stating that it is fair and acceptable”.
Gabryle D. Aguila, head of equity research at stock brokerage house Unicapital Securities, recommended that shareholders participate in tender offer and they could shift to other “high quality” conglomerates such as Ayala Corp., GT Capital and SM Investments.
Metro Pacific also clarified on Tuesday that shareholders who would sell their shares would still receive any interim dividend that may be declared by the company when it announces its second quarter financial results on Aug. 14 this year.