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Filinvest postpones share sale

Posted on January 21, 2011 07:21:19 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
GOTIANUN-LED holding firm Filinvest Development Corp. has postponed its follow-on offering of as much as 2.88 billion shares indefinitely, pointing to poor market conditions.
The listed holding firm said offer prices were unattractive and the market was unstable.
"In its special meeting [on Friday], the Board of Directors of Filinvest Development approved to defer the equity fund raising activity of the Corporation due to volatile market conditions," the company said in a disclosure. "While there was ample demand from investors for an offering to be completed, the board has decided that the proposed offer price of its equity shares would not reflect the true value of the company," Filinvest Development added.
On Jan. 7, Filinvest Development began a two-week, six-city tour covering Singapore, Hong Kong, London, New York, Boston and San Francisco to sell the shares and raise money to bankroll new and existing projects and repay debt. Filinvest Development tapped UBS AG as the sole global coordinator as well as joint bookrunner in tandem with JP Morgan Securities Ltd.
"Filinvest Development believes it will have sufficient internally generated cash for its capital expenditure and expansion plans for the upcoming year," the company said on Friday.
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 postponement will hurt the listed firm’s plan to increase public ownership to 29.5% from just 7.7%. On Nov. 29, the Philippine Stock Exchange 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 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.
Shares in the company -- whose consolidated net income more than doubled to P3.8 billion in the nine months that ended in September last year from P1.8 billion in the previous year -- closed P0.07 lower at P5.11 each on Friday. -- Neil Jerome C. Morales
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