Saturday, October 31, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES [ BusinessWorld Online ]
Villar-led Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc. is set to become a major player in condominium developments after acquiring a unit of Polar Property Holdings Corp.
In a joint disclosure on Friday, the listed property firms said they had entered into a property swap, where Vista Land would buy the 97% stake of Polar Property in subsidiary Polar Mines and Realty Ventures Inc. and the latter’s accounts receivable for P702 million.
Vista Land likewise said it would buy the remaining outstanding shares of Polar Mines and Realty from individual owners, worth P2.5 million.
In exchange, Vista Land will give Polar Property 320.68 million common shares. The shares, crossed at the exchange on Friday, were worth P782 million or P2.44 apiece, higher than the P1.90 per share closing price of Vista Land on Thursday when the acquisition was approved.
Polar Mines and Realty, renamed Vista Towers, would be part of Vista Land’s long-term strategy to broaden its real estate portfolio and increase its revenue base, executives said.
"Vista Land has been widely viewed primarily as a pure housing developer and is the industry leader in terms of the total number of houses constructed. The addition of a fifth subsidiary concentrating on vertical developments is expected to complement Vista Land’s existing product offerings which cover practically all price segments," Vista Land said.
Polar Mines and Realty focuses on the development of mid- and high-rise buildings for residential and commercial use. On-going projects include the Presidio Complex, Symphony Tower, Crown University Belt Tower, and Madison Tower.
Vista Land’s has four units, namely Brittany, Crown Asia, Camella Homes, and Communities Philippines. Brittany and Crown Asia cater to the higher-end market while Camella Homes focuses on the middle-income segment. Communities Philippines offers "affordable" houses.
"This acquisition will broaden our real estate presence and should allow us to become a significant player in the vertical segment of the market," Ricardo B. Tan, Jr., Vista Land senior vice-president for finance, said.
"As the real estate industry continues to recover, we should see renewed interest in condominium developments. We expect Vista Towers to further raise our profile in the vertical segment and accelerate revenue growth by increasing the breadth of our product offerings," he added.
Jerry M. Navarrete, chairman and president of Polar Property, meanwhile said the disposition of Polar Mines and Realty would allow the firm to concentrate on the development of commercial projects.
"The transaction is consistent with our strategy to focus our efforts primarily on the commercial real estate sector. At the same time, our resulting stake in Vista Land will enable us to share in the benefits from the expected growth of the company over the coming years," he said.
Shares in Vista Land on Friday jumped by 4.21% or P0.08 to P1.98 apiece, while shares in Polar Property fell by more than a fifth to P2.55 apiece. -- Kristine Jane R. Liu