Manila–(PHStocks)–Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC; PSE: MPI) and PLDT Communications and Energy Ventures, Inc. (PCEV) today announced the purchase by Beacon Asset Holdings Inc. (Beacon) of 30,000,000 common shares representing 2.66% in Manila Electric Company (MERALCO, PSE: MER) from First Philippine Utilities Corporation (FPUC) at the cash price of Php295 per share and FPUC retaining certain property dividends that may be declared on such shares. Beacon is owned by MPIC and PCEV on a 50%-50% basis. Currently, Beacon holds approximately 45.36% of Meralco. The acquisition of FPUC’s Meralco shares will increase the beneficial interest of Beacon in Meralco to 48.02%. It is expected that the transaction will be completed on February 1, 2012.
Simultaneously with the execution of the purchase agreement, Beacon, MPIC, PCEV and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (the Beacon Group) executed an amendment to the Revised and Restated Cooperation Agreement dated March 30, 2010 (Revised Cooperation Agreement) with FPUC, First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH, PSE: FPH) and Lopez Inc. (the Lopez Group) that would allow the Lopez Group to retain a board seat in Meralco under certain circumstances after completion of the transaction.
The acquisition of the additional 2.66% of Meralco from the Lopez Group represents an opportunity to further consolidate Beacon’s investment in a sector that the Beacon Group believes will have significant growth as the Philippine economy grows. Meralco is now focused on growing its current business and in investing in new areas such as power generation, aimed at enhancing shareholder value and providing efficient and upgraded services for the public.
Beacon’s funding for this acquisition, like other recent purchases of shares in Meralco, will be provided via an equity injection of Php5.4 billion to which MPIC and PCEV will subscribe equally and a Php5 billion corporate notes facility arranged for Beacon by First Metro Investment Corporation (FMIC, PSE: FMIC) and PNB Capital and Investment Corporation.