Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. said the acquisition of a controlling interest in Manila North Harbor Port Inc. from Harbor Center Port Terminal Inc. is legitimate despite the ongoing ownership dispute between businessman Reghis Romero II and his son Michael.
San Miguel said it was aware about the petition filed by Reghis Romero with the regional trial court and the Securities and Exchange Commission to revoke the approved increase in the capital stock of MNHPI, which enabled the conglomerate to raise its ownership in the port terminal operator to close to 80 percent from an initial 35 percent.
Reghis Romero has questioned the validity of the acts of his son Michael Romero as controlling shareholder of HCPTI.
“Absent a temporary restraining order issued by RTC or the final resolution the cases filed both in the RTC and the SEC, we believe that Petron and SMHC [San Migule Holdings Corp.] has valid ownership of the share as they respectively acquired to subscribed to MNHPI, San Miguel said.
San Miguel earlier reported that SMHC subscribed to and fully paid for 13 million common shares of MNPHI at a subscription price of P100.00 per share.
The subscription resulted in SMHC owning a 43.33 percent equity interest in MNHPI. Prior to the transaction, MNHPI was 65 percent owned by HCPTI and 35 percent held San Miguel-owned Petron Corp.
With San Miguel’s acquisition of an additional 43.44 percent stake, the conglomerate as a group now controls a 78.33-percent interest in the port terminal company.
San Miguel said it acquired the total equity interest in MNPHI in a regular and legitimate manner because all the requirements for holding of a stockholders meeting to approve the increase in MNHPI’s authorized capital stock and the investments of SMHC to MNHPI were met.
The conglomerate said it also obtained the waiver of pre-emptive rights of existing shareholders of MNHPI, allowing Petron to subscribe to seven million common shares in MNHPI and SMHC to buy 13 million common shares.
San Miguel said the requirements for the increase in the authorized capital stock of MNHPI were complied as determined by the SEC when it approved the proposed hike.
MNHPI won the 25-year contract to manage, develop and operate the 52-hectare seaport terminal.
The company earlier committed to invest P14.5 billion to develop the port facility. Aside from developing passenger port terminal with a capacity to serve two million to three passengers per year, the company plans to build a container yard.