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Filinvest Development starts six-city tour to sell shares

Posted on 09:16 PM, January 09, 2011 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
GOTIANUN-LED holding firm Filinvest Development Corp. has started a road show for its follow-on offering involving the sale of as much as 2.88 billion shares later this month.
The listed firm will visit six foreign cities in the next two weeks to brief investors, the company told the local bourse late last week.
“On Jan. 5, Filinvest Development started its road show for its ‘top-up’ equity offering,” the company said in a disclosure.
“From Manila, Filinvest Development management will go on a six-city tour covering Singapore, Hong Kong, London, New York, Boston and San Francisco,” it added.
Last week, Filinvest Development announced a follow-on equity offering of up to 2.5 billion shares with an additional 15% over-allotment option.
The firm did not disclose the price of the share sale. Shares in Filinvest Development closed P0.23 lower at P5.66 each on Friday.
“The base offering of 2.5 billion shares is intended to put Filinvest Development and its subsidiaries in a good position to take advantage of opportunities from the robust growth we expect the country to have in the next few years,” Josephine Gotianun Yap, president and chief executive of Filinvest Development, said in the same statement.
Fresh capital from the share sale will allow the listed company to bankroll new and existing projects and repay debts.
Last month, Filinvest Development said it would enter the infrastructure and utility businesses. The holding firm is looking at building two 150-megawatt, coal-fired power generation plants in Luzon and the Visayas and a water desalination facility in the Visayas.
The move is also in compliance with the minimum 10% public ownership required by the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).
“The transaction, which will increase the public float of Filinvest Development shares from 6% to 29.5%, is expected to be completed by end of January,” the company said.
On Nov. 29, the PSE started implementing the 10% minimum public float rule as a requirement for continued listing.
A listed company that does not meet the prescribed minimum percentage of public ownership will be given a grace period of 12 months to comply. Erring firms will be slapped with penalties. Listed companies that do not comply after a three-year period will be suspended from trading and could be delisted.
The primary offering will involve the sale of Filinvest Development shares by controlling shareholder ALG Holdings Corp. and a simultaneous subscription by ALG Holdings of an equivalent number of shares to be issued by Filinvest Development.
In November, shareholders of Filinvest Development approved the increase in the authorized capital of the holding firm to P17 billion from P10 billion to pave the way for the share sale.
Filinvest Development has tapped UBS AG as the sole global coordinator as well as joint bookrunner in tandem with JP Morgan Securities Ltd.
The financial business of Filinvest Development includes newly acquired subsidiaries AIG Philam Savings Bank, Inc., Philam Auto Finance and Leasing, Inc., and PFL Holdings, Inc., whose mergers with East West Bank were approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Securities and Exchange Commission last year.
Property subsidiaries and joint ventures include listed Filinvest Land, Inc., Festival Supermall, Inc., Cyberzone Properties, Inc., and Filinvest Asia Corp.
Filinvest Development is also into sugar production through Pacific Sugar Holdings Corp., Davao Sugar Central Co., Inc., Cotabato Sugar Central Co., Inc., and High Yield Sugar Farms Corp.
The firm’s consolidated net income jumped by 94% to P1.9 billion in the first half of 2010 as property unit Filinvest Land, Inc. reported an uptick in revenues. -- N. J. C. Morales

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