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Pro-Friends to acquire listed AsiaTrust for backdoor listing

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Jun. 09, 2014 at 12:01am [

Property Company of Friends Inc., a real estate developer, plans to acquire listed shell company AsiaTrust Development Bank to facilitate a backdoor listing in the Philippine Stock Exchange, sources said.

Backdoor listing is considered a cost-effective strategy used by a private company to go public by acquiring an already listed company.

Industry sources said after the backdoor listing, Pro-Friends planned to conduct follow-on offering that would raise P6 billion to P7 billion in proceeds.

The follow-on offering, purely for domestic investors, could take place this year and would widen the company’s public float to 30 percent, sources said.

AsiaTrust, which listed in the PSE on Oct. 8, 1996, sold all its banking assets to Asia United Bank Corp. of the Rebisco group in 2012.   The company, which surrendered its banking and trust license to the Bangko Sentral, was allowed to exist as a non-bank shell company to manage and liquidate its remaining trust business.

AsiaTrust disclosed last year it would change its corporate name to NextGenesis Holdings Corp.  Trading of AsiaTrust shares in the PSE is currently suspended due to non-submission of reportorial requirements.  The stock was last traded on Nov. 4, 2010 when it closed at P7 per share.

Pro-Friends, a rising property developer in the Philippines founded in 1999, has completed and delivered 15 projects and has11 ongoing projects.

The property firm serves the bottom part of the housing market, the underserved segment of the property sector. Most of its projects are located in Cavite and Iloilo.

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