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Alphaland’s stock rights bucked

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Feb. 08, 2014 at 12:01am [ manilastandardtoday.com ]

The Philippine Stock Exchange said Friday the planned P270-million stock rights offering of property developer Alphaland Corp. does not comply with the exchange’s rules.

The PSE issued the notice amid the legal tussle between businessman Roberto Ongpin and London-based Ashmore Group Plc over the control of Alphaland.

Alphaland, which is headed by Ongpin, earlier announced it would raise P270.8 million from a stock rights offering aimed at preserving the interest of minority shareholders, after the capital call in early January, where Ashmore did not participate.

PSE said in a notice posted on its Web site it had properly informed Alphaland that the terms and conditions of rights offering do not comply with the PSE rules.  The exchange did not explain why the application for rights offering was rejected.

“The exchange received several queries regarding the terms and conditions of Alphaland’s stock rights offering. Please be advised that the terms and conditions of the said stock rights offering, as published in several newspapers and in various related advisories that may be circulating among the trading participants, do not comply with the applicable rules of the exchange,” PSE said.

“The exchange has properly communicated to Alphaland on the non-compliance with the exchange’s rules for stock rights offerings. We will appropriately inform the trading participants and the investing public of developments on the matter,” it said.

PSE suspended the trading of Alphaland shares after the Ongpin group said the company’s public float fell below 10 percent, because of the alleged “simulated” share sale by Ashmore in December.

Alphaland plans to conduct the stock rights offering exclusively for minority shareholders.

Under the terms of the offering, minority shareholders will be entitled to subscribe to new shares at P2.50 apiece.

Ashmore did not participate in the capital call in January, allowing the Ongpin group to increase its ownership in the company to 50.57 percent from 21.73 percent. Ashmore’s stake in the company was diluted to 24.41 percent from 69.37 percent.  The rights offering was supposed to protect other shareholders from the dilution.

The offer period was set from Feb. 3 to 7.  Alphaland said it made the rights offer in order to protect minority shareholders from dilution after the company conducted a capital call last month.

A total of 108 million new Alphaland shares were supposed to be issued to minority shareholders.  The proceeds will be used to partly fund the working capital and capital expenditure requirements of the company.
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