BIZ BUZZ: Goodbye to Metrobank Plaza
At 46 years old next month, it will be one of the older buildings in Makati City.
Though not the oldest in the central business district (CBD), it is starting to show its age. As such, a key landmark along Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue is set to be torn down soon and eventually replaced by a gleaming modern skyscraper.
We’re talking, of course, about Metrobank Plaza which was, until a few weeks ago, the official headquarters of one of the country’s largest financial institutions.
We say “was” because Biz Buzz has learned that work will start as early as next week on tearing down the structure that was inaugurated all the way back in September 1977.
And even the younger occupants of the old office tower could tell it was made for a different time, with its expensive marble flooring and equally expensive Narra panels and furniture.
But since a few weeks ago, the building has sat empty, with most Metrobank head office units having been transferred to GT Tower along Ayala Avenue or the Grand Hyattt Tower in Bonifacio Global City.
Because it’s an old building that was put up with robust concrete walls and columns, it will take slightly longer than usual to tear everything down. We hear it will take around one and a half years to level the complex.
Then it will take another one and a half years to dig up the place to install deep and strong foundations, plus an estimated four years to build the new and modern skyscraper that will tower over the northern edge of the CBD.
All told, that will be seven to eight years of construction work, and a few billion pesos in resources. But we’re sure it will be worth the wait, based on what we’re hearing about the new structure’s design. Abangan!
—Daxim L. Lucas
All MPIC systems go?
It is all systems go for the P55-billion tender offer of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. after stockholders ratified the company’s planned delisting from the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Over 77 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the delisting proposal while less than 1 percent voted against the resolution during the special meeting this week. As such, the bidding consortium will launch the tender offer today.
Interestingly, several market sources have reached out to Biz Buzz to say that government financial institutions such as Social Security System and Government Service Insurance System abstained from the vote.
SSS and GSIS own a combined 5.5-percent stake in the firm as part of their normal investing activities.
While just a minority slice, their shares takes on greater significance since the consortium taking Metro Pacific private needs to acquire at least 95 percent of the company to pursue the voluntary delisting.
The math speaks for itself, so the general concern is that the abstinence of the GFIs might be indicative of their intention to not participate in the tender offer.
Those closely following the issue know the consortium already increased the offer price to the current P5.20 per share. The problem is this might still be below the GFIs’ acquisition price, which might invite public scrutiny for being disadvantageous to the government and the pensioners.
This very scenario was raised by a stockholder during the meeting on Tuesday.
Stanley Yang, who was speaking for the consortium, responded that they could seek an exemption from the regulator if they fall short of the 95 percent requirement. (It’s worth noting that Metro Pacific would be suspended anyway and face involuntary delisting from the exchange if the consortium can acquire over 90 percent of the shares).
So, what would happen if no exemption is granted? Yang left it open and said this would still be deliberated upon during such a scenario.