Roxas Holdings halts trading amid talks of Leviste takeover
term sheet cites 71.6% stake

Roxas Holdings halts trading amid talks of Leviste takeover

Meralco unit to invest P200B in PH’s biggest solar farm

Founder, President and CEO of Solar Philippines, Leandro Leviste | PHOTO: Official website of SM / My Story, My SM

MANILA, Philippines — Sugar and ethanol producer Roxas Holdings Inc. (RHI) filed for a 12-day voluntary suspension at the Philippine Stock Exchange to prevent speculative trading that may spark from talks of a potential investment by businessman Leandro Leviste in the company.

RHI had clarified that Leviste’s entry has yet to be ironed out.


On Monday, the listed company said it requested a trading suspension from May 20 to May 31 to avoid an unwarranted upswing in its share prices following reports about Leviste—millennial founder of SP New Energy Corp. (SPNEC)—going for a controlling stake in RHI.


It was reported that Leviste’s Countryside Investments Holdings Corp. inked a term sheet with tycoon Manuel Pangilinan to inject P5 billion into RHI for 71.6 percent ownership.

The sugar producer explained that the term sheet was “indicative only and does not create any legally binding obligation on any of the parties.

The transaction, RHI added, was still subject to satisfaction of several closing conditions, including corporate board and stockholders approvals as well as clearance from regulators.

P5B for 71.6% stake in RHI

“The company will make the proper disclosures at the appropriate time to inform the public of definitive developments regarding this transaction,” RHI said.

Before eyeing a stake in RHI, Leviste has become the biggest individual shareholder of another Roxas firm, Roxas and Co. Inc., with a 10-percent share.

READ: Leviste gains foothold in RCI


The 31-year-old businessman seeks to finance the stake acquisition from proceeds of the sale of shares in SPNEC to Pangilinan’s Meralco PowerGen Corp.

The potential investment came as RHI deals with P4.4 billion in debt to lenders including Bank of the Philippine Islands, BDO Unibank, and Land Bank of the Philippines.

In the first quarter, RHI saw its net loss balloon by 187.9 percent to P2.3 billion from P797.01 million a year ago as its sugar refinery business dragged its bottom line.

To recall, RHI permanently ceased the operations of its sugar refinery plant in Nasugbu, Batangas, earlier this year because of “serious business losses.” It had to terminate all its employees as a result of the shutdown.

READ: Roxas Holdings: Shuttered Luzon sugar mill may still be revived

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The current buzz suggests that Leviste is on a spree. Earlier this month, he acquired an 8.5-percent ownership in ABS-CBN Corp., making him the second-largest shareholder in the media company after the Lopez Group.

TAGS: Leandro Leviste, Roxas Holdings

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