BIZ BUZZ: The MPIC drama continues
Manuel Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. will soon enter the final stages of going private, with an unusual twist thrown in, thanks to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
Instead of selling out to the buying consortium during an ongoing tender offer, the state pension fund deployed its massive resources to amass a stake worth nearly P18 billion or 12 percent of the company in recent weeks, making it all but likely it will receive a board seat in the Metro Pacific.
GSIS later clarified it had no intention of disrupting the delisting — contrary to the widely held perception it was seeking a better price from the buyers — but would instead stay on as a major shareholder in the hugely profitable conglomerate that owns key utilities such as Manila Electric Co. and Maynilad Water Services Inc.
All’s well that ends well, right? We’re not sure.
Because of the surprise play by GSIS, tender offer buyers such as Indonesian tycoon Anthoni Salim, Ty family-led GT Capital Holdings, Japanese giant Mitsui and Metro Pacific chair and CEO Pangilinan will end up owning less of the company than they initially intended.
Yes, they bought enough Metro Pacific’s shares to qualify for privatization under the voluntary delisting rules of the exchange. But it would be interesting to see how they would divvy up the smaller number of stocks acquired during the tender offer. Will the split be proportionate or will someone be forced to give up more?
For reference, the original post-tender offer breakdown would have seen Salim owning 50 percent of Metro Pacific, followed by 20 percent each for the Mitsui venture and GT Capital while Pangilinan will own 10 percent.
It makes sense that the bidders suddenly extended the tender offer period by eight business days to Sept 19 to convince the remaining minority stockholders that own 3 percent to sell.
The sharp increase in Metro Pacific’s share price on Friday by over 6 percent to P5.16 — just a few centavos below the P5.20 tender offer price — tells us the final tender offer stretch could be a race for those remaining holdouts.
Are GSIS or allied entities done buying or will the consortium eventually prevail and increase its holdings even more? Abangan!