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DMCI wants Puerto Azul -- Boulevard Holdings exec

Posted on December 16, 2014 11:00:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
 By Daphne J. Magturo, Reporter

BOULEVARD HOLDINGS, Inc. (BHI) is contemplating selling off parcels of its Puerto Azul seaside estate to not just one developer -- while keeping some portion of the 3,000-hectare property for itself -- as the list of prospective buyers has grown to now include the Consunji group, the company’s chief executive said yesterday.

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AYALA Land Premier (ALP) Head Jose Juan Z. Jugo addresses a media briefing in this photo taken on May 7, 2013. Yesterday, Mr. Jugo, who is also vice-president of ALP’s parent Ayala Land, Inc., said his group will focus on developing its leisure estate in Bataan -- the Anvaya Cove -- sidestepping questions about the property giant’s interest in the Puerto Azul seaside estate. -- BW FILE PHOTO

Boulevard Holdings, the resort developer behind Friday’s Boracay Island Beach Resort in Boracay Island, Aklan and Friday’s Puerto Galera, Inc., is in preliminary talks with DMCI Holdings, Inc. for the sale of Puerto Azul, Jose Marcel E. Panlilio, BHI chairman, president and chief executive officer, said on the sidelines of the company’s stockholders’ meeting.

Sought for comment, DMCI Holdings, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Isidro A. Consunji said in a mobile phone reply: “Still have to study. Maybe after the holidays.”

DMCI is a listed holding company with stakes in construction business, mining, and power.

DMCI is the latest name to emerge as a prospective buyer after Boulevard Holdings disclosed on Dec. 2 that Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) -- the country’s largest property developer by market value -- resumed discussions to buy the beachfront property.

ALI and the Panlilio group signed a P2.3-billion deal on March 13 for the development of 400 hectares or 13% of Puerto Azul into a high-end mixed-used community, but the former terminated the deal in September.

Mr. Panlilio said his group would still want to see talks with Ayala Land progress.

“ALI did write us a letter, wishing us well. They said if they are interested, they will get back. We will welcome them if ever,” Mr. Panlilio told Boulevard Holdings stockholders.

In a separate briefing held yesterday at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City, Ayala Land Vice-President Jose Juan Z. Jugo refused to comment on his company’s interest in Puerto Azul, saying instead that the Ayala group has “a lot of work to do” at Anvaya Cove, its leisure estate in Morong, Bataan.

FRIDAY’S AT PUERTO AZUL
Boulevard Holdings’ Mr. Panlilio added: “We also have several American funds who are looking at us because the weighting of their real estate portfolio requires them to get Asian real estate also, so we’re one of those being considered.”

Boulevard Holdings earlier said other interested investors include a consortium of Chinese and Indonesian investors who have been inspecting the property, and “two foreign prospects” introduced by a Singapore-based boutique banker.

Asked if Boulevard Holdings plans to divide the sprawling Puerto Azul property and offer portions of it to different developers, Mr. Panlilio replied: “Yes… It’s better that way.”

The company is trying to close a deal “by early next year,” he said.

Boulevard Holdings plans to construct and operate two hotels in Puerto Azul under its Friday’s brand, Mr. Panlilio said.

Boulevard Holdings shares closed unchanged on Tuesday at P0.117 each.

Ayala Land shares were down 2.6% to P33.90 apiece, while DMCI lost 3.7% to P15.12 each, tracking the broader market’s losses.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index fell 1.6% to end at 7,160.38 yesterday. -- with report from C. A. M. C. Feliciano          
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