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Empire East acquiring more land for dev’t

Posted on January 07, 2013 10:13:44 PM [ BusinessWorld Online]
PROPERTY developer Empire East Land Holdings, Inc. has spent more than a fifth of funds raised from its stock rights offering in October last year on construction and land banking, the company said in a disclosure yesterday.
The disclosure cited “disbursement made by the company pursuant to the planned use of net proceeds from its 1:4 stock rights offering approved by the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Aug. 30, 2012…”
Last October, Empire East raised a net of P2.69 billion after offering one new share -- taken from a P10-billion increase in the firms authorized capital stock -- for every four shares held by existing shareholders.
A total of 2.69 billion shares were subscribed to by shareholders at P1 apiece, with the shares being listed on the PSE on Nov. 29.
Of the offering’s proceeds, P890 million was allotted for land banking, with the balance going to the construction of three projects: P800 million for Pioneer Woodlands, P700 million for San Lorenzo Place, and P300 million for The Rochester.
As of Friday last week, Empire East had already spent P578.96 million on land banking; P6,714,670 for Pioneer Woodlands; P28,580,741 for San Lorenzo Place; and P482,898 million for The Rochester, for a total spending of P614,738,309, or 22.85% of the P2.69 billion raised from the stock rights offer, the disclosure stated.
Empire East has yet to spend about P2.08 billion raised in that transaction.
Pioneer Woodlands is a six-tower project at the corner of Pioneer Street and EDSA in Mandaluyong City; San Lorenzo Place is a four-tower development at the corner of Chino Roces Avenue and EDSA in Makati City; while The Rochester is an Asian-themed, exclusive residential community in Pasig City consisting of mid- and high-rise buildings.
Empire East, a former division of listed Megaworld Corp., was incorporated in 1994 and was formerly known as Megaworld’s Community Housing Division.
It is currently engaged in the development of mid- to high-rise residential condominiums in Metro Manila, as well as single-detached homes in major suburban areas, according to the company’s 2011 annual report.
In July last year, Empire East inked a joint venture with the Japan-based Okada Group for the development of a P45-billion upscale condominium complex in the Bagong Nayong Pilipino Entertainment City, firming up the company’s foray into luxury property development.
The company also bid in August last year for the right to develop 74 hectares of the state-owned Food Terminal, Inc. agri-industrial complex in Taguig City, but lost to rival Ayala Land, Inc., which submitted an offer of P24.331 billion, dwarfing Empire East’s P10.2-billion bid.
Empire East grew its net profit by 7.5% to P89.30 million as of September last year from P83.07 million in the same nine months in 2011 on the back of higher real estate sales. In the same comparative periods, revenues rose 21.83% to P1.73 billion from P1.42 billion, while costs and expenses increased by 22.39% to P1.64 billion from P1.34 billion.
Shares of Empire East gained one centavo or 0.93% to P1.09 apiece yesterday from P1.08 last Friday. -- F. J. G. de la Fuente    
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