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Metro Pacific lends P500 M to real estate unit

Friday, September 12, 2008 [ philstar.com ]

Metro Pacific Investments Corp., (MPIC) the local unit of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., is extending P500 million in short-term funding to 51-percent owned subsidiary Landco Pacific Corp. to allow the leisure property development firm to meet maturing obligations and fund its working capital requirements.

At the same time, MPIC disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange that the company, together with its joint venture partners in Landco – AB Holdings Corp. and businessman Alfred Xerez-Burgos Jr. – agreed to subject Landco to a third-party valuation appraisal which will be used as basis whether to acquire MPIC’s stake in the real estate development firm on or before Dec. 29, 2008.

The failure by ABHC and Burgos to timely inform MPIC about their intentions, would result in MPIC gaining the right to acquire all of the shareholdings of ABHC and Burgos in Landco, less a retention equal to 10 percent of the current outstanding shares of the property firm.

Last month, MPIC chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the group is weighing its options with regard to Landco as it pursues larger, more capital-extensive investments in other industries like infrastructure and water.

In the first half this year, Landco reported a core net income of P17.9 million, down 82 percent level P110.3 million the previous year due to the 21 percent decline in recognized revenue from real estate sales sold.

Although sales jumped 91 percent to P2.71 billion, delays in construction for the period impacted negatively on Landco’s ability to recognize those revenues.

Cost of sales and expenses rose six percent to P889.1 million due to higher costs of materials and marketing expenses related to the launching of new projects. — Zinnia dela Peña

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